Mayor Eric Garcetti has tried to reform the Department of Water and Power by bringing in a new general manager, appointing a fresh slate of commissioners, and even supporting litigation to expose the use of public funds.
Now, one of his longtime aides is moving to a top leadership position at the utility.
Guy Lipa will be the chief of staff within the Office of the General Manager. For the past year, Lipa acted as a liaison between the Mayor's Office and DWP. Lipa previously worked as a senior legislative deputy in Garcetti's council office.
"Guy's experience as my point person on DWP policy will be a great asset for the department. He's been a valuable member of my team for five years, and we're sorry to see him go, but are proud that Marcie Edwards recognized his talent and convinced him to join her team," Garcetti said in a statement.
The DWP has been a major focus of Garcetti's first year in office. In particular, he's supported litigation to obtain financial records from the Joint Training and Joint Safety institutes, two nonprofits entirely funded by the DWP. Union boss Brian D'Arcy, one of the trustees to the institutes, has repeatedly refused to provide financial records for an audit.
The mayor also supported the move to place two of his allies, attorney Richard Llewellyn and DWP Commissioner Michael Fleming, on the nonprofits' oversight boards.
Lipa will oversee the DWP's communications, intergovernmental affairs, community relations and federal and state legislative teams. He will report to DWP General Manager Marcie Edwards.
Lipa's salary from DWP will be $125,000, according to a spokesman for the utility.