The general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says he was threatened with a lawsuit if he ever revealed information about a pair of secretive trust funds partially controlled by the DWP employee union.

Ron Nichols confided at a private meeting with the DWP Board of Commissioners that IBEW union boss Brian D'Arcy had made the threat, and Nichols said he was worried the City of L.A. would not defend him in a lawsuit, according to two officials who attended the meeting.

"D'Arcy told him that if he were to ever share any information, D'Arcy would sue him personally as a breach of fiduciary duty," DWP Commission president Mel Levine told KFI NEWS Friday.

Nichols, who is a DWP employee accountable to the Mayor and the public, is also one of the trustees who controls the Joint Safety Institute and the Joint Training Institute, the two funds that have received $41-million in public money over the last decade.

The City Controller's Office said it would issue subpoenas for financial records from the trusts after D'Arcy and the IBEW failed to produce any records or appear at an audit meeting Wednesday.

Controller Ron Galperin and Mayor Eric Garcetti have been pressing the union to share its accounting records since September, when a Los Angeles Times story renewed questions about what the two "institutes" do.

Nichols announced his resignation Thursday, citing personal reasons. He was unavailable for comment.

-- Eric Leonard