LA City Hall, DWP union move closer to resolution of yearlong financial dispute

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The fight between City Hall leaders and the Department of Water and Power's powerful union over the spending of public money appears to have ended with a whimper. 

After a closed-door meeting Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council asked the city attorney to resolve all litigation related to two nonprofits run by the DWP and its union. Resolving the lawsuits related to those groups would allow the nonprofits to collect about $4 million they're owed by the utility. The release of the multimillion dollar payment would come with about a dozen conditions attached - all intended to create transparency and accountability, since the nonprofits are funded with ratepayer money. 

The head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18 says he's ready to end a year-long dispute that started when Mayor Eric Garcetti and Controller Ron Galperin sought to audit the nonprofits' financial records.

"We are confident that there are solutions that result in the desired outcome," union leader Brian D'Arcy said in a statement.  "We support the lawful principles expressed in this proposal and look forward to working with the city council to resolve these issues, support their action today and are committed to working to solving the many challenges the department continues to face."

That announcement comes one day after members of the L.A. City Council introduced a motion that would give the nonprofits their money, as long as trustees agreed to performance and fiscal audits and unfettered access to documents, among other conditions. 

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