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Archived: Editorial: What’s the Real Deal Behind DWP/Nahai Agreement?

The commission for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is claiming that they need to keep outgoing General Manager David Nahai on as a consultant through the end of the year because they need his institutional expertise to shepherd the department through the transition caused by his leaving.

Nahai will be paid an exorbitant amount of ratepayer’s money for his 90-day consulting stint, just about equal to what he would have received if he were still general manager. We don’t understand why Nahai did not, out of a sense of duty and responsibility, just stay on as general manager for an agreed upon amount of time while a permanent replacement is being chosen.

Then again, there are not too many people who would turn down the deal offered by the DWP commission: “Stay on as a part-time consultant, answer a few questions when needed, and make lots and lots of money.”

We guess you could say he’d be pretty stupid not to accept the deal the commission was dumb enough to offer.

What gets us is why the deal was offered in the first place — it just does not make sense given these tough financial times when commissioners say new rate hikes and special fees are needed to keep the department financially sound.

Since ex- DWP General Manager David Freeman, a man who is intimately familiar with the inner workings and dealings at the department is stepping in as Nahai’s interim replacement, we have to wonder who really came up with the deal behind this fiasco, and why.

And our elected officials wonder why the people have lost faith. Really, you don’t have to look very far for the answer.