LA Times and consumer group ask judge to unseal data on DWP scandal

Los Angeles, CA - February 8: Mike Feuer listens to questions asked during the CA-30 Congressional Debate at the Wilshire Ebell Theater on Saturday, February 10, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA.  (Michael Blackshire/Los Angeles Times)

(Michael Blackshire/Los Angeles Times)

LA Times and consumer group ask judge to unseal data on DWP scandal

LA Politics, Elections 2024, Homepage News

Dakota Smith

February 22, 2024

The Los Angeles Times and Consumer Watchdog on Wednesday asked a federal court to unseat evidence related to the criminal investigation into former City Atty. Mike Feuer’s office and the Ministry of Water and Energy.

The Times and the

Consumer interest group has submitted an application

are seeking to make public 33 search warrants, affidavits and other documents in the government’s case.

Jerry Flanagan, legal director of Consumer Watchdog, said the law clearly states that the public has a right to documents when a government criminal investigation is completed.

The 1,451 pages will shed more light on the scandal, which Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr., who is overseeing the criminal case, called an “incredibly sordid affair” last year.

The filing, filed by The Times and Consumer Watchdog in the Central District of U.S. District Court, also states that the public has a right to know “whether or not Mr. Feuer is guilty of the scandal.” Feuer, the former city attorney, is running in the March 5 election for the 30th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).

Firework

is among the top fundraisers in the race.

Questions, anger after FBI signals end to DWP billing investigation

Prosecutors confirmed last year that their investigation into illegal city contracts and a sham lawsuit involving the DWP is over.

Four people, including three top city officials, have pleaded guilty to various crimes in a 2015 class-war scandal.

action

lawsuit brought by DWP customers.

Prosecutors said an attorney working for Feuer’s office wrote the lawsuit and then handed it to an opposing attorney, who filed the case against the city.

The aim was to quickly resolve a large number of claims filed by DWP customers who had been grossly overcharged by a new billing system, prosecutors said.

Individuals inside and outside the city who are not named in the prosecutor’s documents are alleged to have known about or participated in various schemes. These individuals have not been charged. Several individuals, who are not named in prosecutors’ court documents, are alleged to have known about or participated in various schemes but have not been charged. Key lawyer in DWP corruption scandal jailed for 33 months

Even more questions arose when former attorney Paul Paradis, who wrote the lawsuit against the city and admitted receiving kickbacks, told a federal judge in November that an FBI agent had testified in two affidavits that Feuer had perjured himself for a federal grand grand. jury jury.

Paradise fire

also made false statements to the FBI, Paradis said.

Fire has long denied any wrongdoing. Reached Wednesday, Feuer pointed to the letter he received from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2022 stating he was not under investigation.

“That letter continues to speak for itself,” said Feuer, who declined to say whether he supports or opposes the effort to unseal the documents.

The filing by The Times and Consumer Watchdog also says the documents are “essential” to “oversee the charging decisions” of the U.S. attorney’s office.

The public has a strong interest in assessing why prosecutors made the limited charging decisions,” the filing said, “particularly when these decisions were made about highly influential and powerful government officials who were not charged, while lower-level officials were charged.”

Lawyers for the two entities began meeting with the U.S. attorney’s office in January to discuss access to the documents.

The process was ongoing last week, but unfortunately we were unable to reach an agreement, Flanagan said.

Thomas Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, declined to comment.

Mrozek told the Times last year that prosecutors did not pursue criminal charges in the DWP and city attorney case because the “evidence did not establish every element of a federal crime beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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