S. David Freeman, the octogenarian anti-nuclear apostle of renewable
energy, sent out a farewell message Monday to the Department of Water
and Power’s 8,000 employees urging them to “Keep the Faith” despite the
controversies that have engulfed the utility.
Freeman’s first term as DWP General Manager ended badly when then Mayor RIchard Riordan fired him. He didn’t fare much better in his second as interim GM when controversy swirled around his veracity and the lack of planning.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa moved Freeman from his role as deputy mayor the for environment to interim GM of DWP and the Council approved him for a six-month term that ends this week.
Read his farewell letter at OurLA.org.
Lies, attempts to blackmail the City Council over withholding $73.5 million in general fund transfers, fiscal mismanagement, an overly generous union contract, a demoralized executive tem, failure to provide timely and accurate information were among the accusations laid at Freeman’s feet.
His credibility had fallen to the point that the mayor’s staff told him to stay on vacation overseas when they attempted unsuccessfully to ramrod through power rate increases of 20 to 30 percent.
Insiders said the mayor has been unable to find a top manager to take over the reigns of the DWP despite the services of an executive recruiting firm in great part because of the likelihood Freeman would either become head of the oversight board which has a vacancy that must be filled this week or would return to the mayor’s office.
Austin Beutner, the mayor’s jobs czar, has been floated as a possible interim successor but he has no experience running a utility although he is a wealthy equity fund manager. Raman Raj, the DWP’s chief operating officer, also has been mentioned but he was fired by both the MTA and DWP previously and has close ties to IBEW union boss Brian D’Arcy which would make his confirmation by the Council unlikely in the current political climate.
It is obvious that our Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is out of control, a rogue department which believes it is above scrutiny and oversight, under the control of our manipulative and destructive $25 Billion Mayor who has no respect for commercial and residential Rate Payers.