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L.A. City Council approves utility board appointment

May 21, 2010 |  2:02 pm
The Los Angeles City Council on Friday unanimous approved the appointment of Eric L. Holoman, president of Magic Johnson Enterprises, to the board that oversees the Department of Water and Power.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa selected Holoman, a former city pension board employee, to fill the DWP board seat vacated last month by Edith Ramirez, an attorney who recently joined the Federal Trade Commission.

The nomination of Holoman comes after a messy political fight between Villaraigosa and the City Council over utility rates. And although a resolution is being reached, animosity remains.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley also has opened an investigation to determine whether employees of the DWP misused corporate credit cards, officials familiar with the probe said. In addition, DWP Interim General Manager Austin Beutner said this week that the utility began the process of firing two workers in the wake of a report by KCBS-TV Channel 2, which said at least one worker drove a city vehicle while drinking from an open container of alcohol.

Council members told Holoman that one of his greatest challenges would be to restore the DWP’s credibility among its customers.

-- Phil Willon at Los Angeles City Hall