CityWatch Today: Consumer Advocates Call Hunt to Choose DWP Watchdog a 'Sham’


GUEST COLUMNIST--When Los Angeles started hunting for a “ratepayer advocate” to scrutinize the Department of Water and Power, Mike Gatto said he was encouraged by several people at City Hall to apply. 

Gatto, a former state assemblyman, had headed the Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce Committee in Sacramento and tried to overhaul the California Public Utilities Commission. He submitted his application and in June got an automatic confirmation that it had been received, he said.

And then? 

Nothing, Gatto said. 

That alarmed Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group that has been sharply critical of Fred Pickel, (photo right) the official who now holds the job. 

A letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Controller Ron Galperin, written by Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court and consumer advocate Liza Tucker, raised concerns about whether the city was going through a “sham process” engineered to reappoint Pickel and called on Galperin to investigate. (Read the rest.)