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LADWP Workers Reportedly Caught Drinking & Driving on the Job

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Photo by kpe II via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr


Photo by kpe II via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
Tonight, KCBS' newscast viewership will likely rise sky high as they air an investigation that will apparently show LADWP employees drinking alcohol on the job and even "drinking and driving and other inappropriate behavior," according to the department's Chief Operating Officer Raman Raj, who explained the accusations in a statement this afternoon.

"Upon being notified of the potential misconduct, LADWP management immediately initiated a full internal investigation, which we will complete within 30- 60 days," Raj continued. His full statement is below:

We have been alerted to apparent misconduct by a small group of LADWP employees allegedly involving inappropriate alcohol consumption, drinking and driving and other inappropriate behavior. Upon being notified of the potential misconduct, LADWP management immediately initiated a full internal investigation, which we will complete within 30- 60 days.

I want to assure our customers that we take any allegation regarding inappropriate behavior by our employees very seriously. Any employee who is found to have acted inappropriately will be held accountable and will face swift disciplinary action. For violations involving alcohol use on the job or other inappropriate conduct, penalties include action up to and including termination. If potential criminal activity is discovered, it will be immediately reported to the Los Angeles City Attorney and Los Angeles County District Attorney.

LADWP has a zero tolerance policy in place regarding alcohol and drug use in the workplace. Additionally, misuse of Department vehicles and other inappropriate behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

In addition to the above investigation, I have directed the Senior Assistant General Manager of our Power System to review this matter fully to determine where supervisory lapses may have occurred, and to take additional corrective and disciplinary action if warranted. I have also directed both our Water and Power System senior managers to review current oversight and supervisory practices to ensure appropriate supervision of our field crews.

LADWP policies regarding use of alcohol by employees driving Department vehicles or handling heavy equipment are governed both by U.S. Department of Transportation policies and Department policy. We maintain an outstanding record with respect to workplace safety and our employees receive comprehensive safety training and other training regarding appropriate workplace conduct. This week, the Department reiterated its policy regarding alcohol use to all employees.

The LADWP is over 9,400 employees strong, and we know that nearly without exception, the vast majority of our employees come to work everyday to work hard for our customers. Through their work, our City’s lights are kept on and its water flows. Their work goes largely unnoticed and it is unfortunate that their good work is tarnished any time another employee acts inappropriately.

Our customers and employees should know that when incidents occur, we take them seriously; we will investigate them fully, and take appropriate disciplinary action quickly.<