L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, nonprofit trusts, Brian D'Arcy, $40 million, "legal loophole": "DWP Union Boss Taps a Loophole to Hide $40 Million".....
* LA Weekly: "DWP Union Boss Taps a Loophole to Hide $40 Million" - From the Weekly:
An odd legal loophole soon will play a central role in the municipal pissing contest over two mysterious L.A. Department of Water and Power "training institutes" that have secretly spent $40 million in public money. Veteran union boss Brian D'Arcy is hoping that exploiting a bit of ambiguous language will let him hide the books.
"D'Arcy versus Galperin" has become a much-watched war between D'Arcy, who works his magic largely behind the scenes for some 8,600 DWP employees, and L.A.'s newest political voice, city Controller Ron Galperin, who campaigned on a platform of government transparency.
Galperin wants the complete financials of the two nonprofit groups, the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute, whose employees operate in offices at a DWP power plant in Sunland, on L.A.'s far northern edge.
Can the books of two private organizations that are entirely funded by a public utility owned by the people of L.A. really be off-limits to the city's auditor?
D'Arcy's attorney, D. William Heine, argues that's exactly what's required by the city charter, state law and the U.S. Constitution's protection from unreasonable searches. Heine's first argument in his legal briefs, however, is that founding papers filed to create the two nonprofits years ago state that the groups' board of trustees cannot order more than one audit yearly.
Mining that loophole, the always-strategic D'Arcy headed off Galperin's planned audit when, at 12:05 a.m. on Jan. 1, as a union trustee, D'Arcy requested his own audit of the two institutes — by a hand-picked, private CPA. D'Arcy's legal team says Galperin has no business conducting a second, and independent, audit requested by trustees who represent DWP management.
Galperin and City Attorney Mike Feuer successfully pressed this week for an early hearing before Superior Court Judge James Chalfant, now set for March 18................................