Statement by Austin Beutner, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Regarding the Initiation of Disciplinary Proceedings Involving Two Employees for Misconduct
|The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power today released the following statement by General Manager Austin Beutner regarding the status of the Department’s investigation into misconduct allegations involving alcohol, drinking and driving and other inappropriate behavior by several employees, and the initiation of termination proceedings involving two of the subject employees:
“We have concluded a portion of our investigation into allegations of misconduct by several LADWP employees and as a result, earlier this morning we initiated termination proceedings against two of those employees. This investigation was overseen by Patrick Findley, Director of LADWP Security Services, a veteran of 31 years as a Captain at the Los Angeles Police Department, with the support of our Power System, Employee Services Division and the City Attorney’s Office.
Under the process set forth by State law, the City’s Civil Service Commission and Department policy, we informed the two employees of our intention to terminate them for misconduct. They will now have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and the proposed action and we will consider their response before rendering a final decision. We expect this process to be concluded in the next two weeks.
Our investigation and review into allegations of potential misconduct involving alcohol, drinking and driving or other inappropriate behavior by additional employees remains ongoing.
The potential misconduct was the subject of an investigative story broadcast on KCBS Channel 2 on April 29th. After the story aired, we contacted KCBS and requested their assistance in providing additional information regarding their investigation. They declined our requests.
To date, we have been denied even the most basic information and cooperation to assist in our investigation, including the dates their video footage was taped. While we respect the right of the press to protect their sources, we fail to see how the failure to provide us with basic information – dates, times, and unedited footage -serves the community at-large.
Any incident involving alcohol and motor vehicles may present a risk to public safety. We would hope any such incident would be reported to proper authorities immediately. In the words of the Times Square hero who saved thousands of lives by reporting a suspicious vehicle, “See something, say something.”
The public may also contact us directly to report any potential misconduct by any of our employees. The LADWP Office of Special Investigations can be contacted directly – and anonymously – by calling 213-367-9111 or by visiting our website www.ladwp.com and clicking on the security badge icon on our homepage. You can send an email that goes directly to our investigators.
I have also asked for a review of our current oversight and supervisory practices to ensure appropriate supervision of our field crews and I expect our Senior Assistant General Managers for the Water and Power Systems to report their findings and recommendations for improvements shortly.
We will provide further updates as our management review and investigation continues, and as circumstances warrant.”