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Villaraigosa Says He's Frustrated with LADWP Management

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In speaking with the LA Times opinion writers and editors Wednesday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa shared his thoughts about the L.A. Department of Water and Power and it wasn't in defense of the utility's mired history. “For four years, I’ve battled a bureaucracy that just won’t respond to the policy direction” to go green he explained. “It’s been an absolute war."

He said it's hard to get numbers out of upper management, which are protected under their civil service status. Even if sacked, they would remain within the DWP, however with $15,000 less and no company car. “They out-wait you. They’ve out-waited everybody.”

“They undermined [former General Manager Ronald] Deaton, they undermined [former General Manager David] Nahai. Even [outgoing General Manager S. David] Freeman,” said the Mayor, who hopes the newly appointed interim manager Austin Beutner--his jobs czar who is paid $1 a year--will find a permanent general manager that has the skills to fix the LADWP.

As for the union, which represents 90% of all workers, it's both part of the problem and solution. But once again, the problem comes with the upper management: "They’re the biggest defenders of the status quo.”