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Head of L.A.'s water and power utility steps down

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's top executive, H. David Nahai, has resigned from the agency effective immediately, the mayor's office announced this morning.

In a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Nahai said he was leaving to take a position as an advisor to former President Clinton's climate initiative.

Nahai had served two years as a DWP commissioner before Villaraigosa elevated him to the post of chief executive and general manager in 2007. Ever since, he had been under fire from an array of forces.

He drew strong criticism from the head of the powerful International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, which represents thousands of DWP workers, who accused Nahai of doing too little to secure the passage of Measure B, a solar power ballot proposal that narrowly fell short of passage in March.

Neighborhood councils also complained of a proposal to increase electric rates. Residents of the San Fernando Valley have been upset in recent weeks over the DWP’s water conservation measures, which limited sprinkler use to two days per week. And residents across the city were perplexed by a string of water main breaks, including one that resulted in a sinkhole that gobbled up a portion of a fire truck.

Nahai did have support from environmental circles, however. Last spring, a series of environmental leaders sent Villaraigosa a letter urging him to ignore the complaints and keep Nahai.

"I would like to thank David Nahai for his four years of service at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where he led the team responsible for increasing the city's renewable energy portfolio, reducing water consumption to record levels, and putting us on the path to be coal free by 2020,'' Villaraigosa said in a statement released this morning.

Villaraigosa has asked the DWP's board of commissioners to temporarily appoint his top environmental advisor, David Freeman, as interim general manager of the utility. Freeman is a former DWP general manager and also served as president of the city harbor commission.

-- Phil Willon and David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

 
Comments () | Archives (27)

why do you think i moved from la in 05? corrupt politicians, city, stste county employees; criminal unions etc etc. now i live in a smaller community, so the corruption here is less obvious but its still here. i think the usa is the most corrupt country in the world claiming it is not.kick all of the republicans and democrats out of office and let's start over. also lawyers are excluded from office. only people who have worked as employees at least 10 years can run for office.

UNTILL YOU PRIVITAZE HALF OF THE DWP AND WATCH CLOSLY THE REMAINININGH BUARICARCY THERE NEVERY BE COST EFFICIENCY!!!


DWP HAS A STRANGLE HOLD ON THE LIFE BLOOD OF LOS ANGELAS..

SUPRIZING THIS IS THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCE EN EVERY MAJOR CITY ..

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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