n audit heralded last year by L.A. city leaders as a breakthrough in efforts to determine what two controversial Department of Water and Power nonprofit trusts did with tens of millions of ratepayer dollars has ground to a halt, The Times has learned.After a long, bitter battle with the DWP's main employee union over access to the trusts' financial records, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council announced in November that they'd struck a deal to give city auditors "unfettered access" to the records.
At issue is how more than $40 million in public money funneled to the groups, jointly controlled by DWP executives and the union, has been used — and whether a new round of nearly $4 million in funding will be provided to the nonprofits.
Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin in June 2013. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
But in late December, less than two weeks into the audit process, Controller Ron Galperin's office ceased work, citing a lack of cooperation from leaders of the nonprofits, according to City Hall sources. No progress has been made on the audit since, as behind-the-scenes talks to resolve the impasse have continued, according to the sources, who requested anonymity discussing what they said was a highly sensitive matter.