FBI Raided City, DWP Offices in Probe of Litigation Over Botched Billings

Palms and Plants Under Power

FBI agents have raided a couple of the most powerful office buildings in Los Angeles. Authorities served search warrants at the DWP headquarters and a branch of LA City Hall. The FBI says they cannot comment on their current investigation due to the affidavit in support of the warrant served yesterday being underseal.

``We are confirming a search warrant at Los Angeles DWP in downtown Los Angeles, but are prohibited from commenting further because affidavits involved in the warrant are sealed,'' Katherine Gulotta of the FBI in Los Angeles told City News Service.

A source in the city attorneys office said that the search warrants were related to the DWP's overbilling scandal and the class-action lawsuit that came from it. They added that the FBI is looking into how the city handled the botch roll out of a new billing system in 2013 which ultimately tasked the DWP with reimbursing rate payers $67 million.

The city and DWP, meanwhile, sued PricewaterhouseCoopers over its handling of the system's rollout.

But PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year questioned the city's relationship with an outside attorney it hired to handle the litigation against the company. The firm said the attorney, Paul Paradis, was hired by the city as a legal consultant in its lawsuit against the company, while he was also serving as legal counsel suing the city on behalf of a DWP customer in the class-action lawsuit. Paradis landed no-bid contracts with the agency worth more than $30 million.

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