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Nahai Out at DWP; Will Still Get Paid

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The embattled David Nahai has resigned from his post as chief at the Department of Water and Power; he'll still draw the same exec salary as a consultant for the rest of the year.

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City councilman Dennis Zine, for one, thinks it's a sweetheart deal that costs the taxpayers too much in these financially strapped times; the DWP says it's standard procedure, necessary when an outgoing chiefs institutional knowledge is still important.

The latest from the L.A. Times on the transition. Excerpts:

The mayor has asked the commission to name Deputy Mayor S. David Freeman, a former DWP general manager, as the utility's top executive for the next six months....

When Nahai announced his departure on Friday, he said his resignation was effective immediately. In the weeks leading up to that announcement, he had lost significant support from Villaraigosa's office and had been under fire from the DWP's powerful employee union....

The new consulting proposal bears some similarities to a 2004 plan by former Mayor James K. Hahn's administration to give a departing executive at the Port of Los Angeles a contract paying $540,000 over three years. That plan drew so much fire that it was not approved.

[DWP commission President Lee Kanon] Alpert said Nahai's contract does not require a vote by the commission. Nevertheless, he said he wanted the matter on today's commission agenda for the sake of transparency.

Alpert gave differing answers, however, on how the consulting contract was developed. At one point, he said he personally asked Nahai to be a consultant. At another, he said he could not say who came up with the idea, calling such information "irrelevant."

This Daily News article contains a list of similar examples of high L.A. officials getting high-paying contracts after leaving their jobs.

L.A. Observed has a great roundup of local coverage. Past City of Angles blogging on DWP issues here and here (which noted talk of Nahai's impending ouster back in March).

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user Heal the Bay. It was used under user Creative Commons license.

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