update: how much is the DWP corruption saga gonna cost us?
the bill for some weird lawyering, no-bid contracts and high-end legal fees
I wrote something a while back breaking down how much the DWP mess was going to cost taxpayers, but I realized that I actually undercounted. After finding some new expenses, including a $37 million Oracle contract for DWP remediation, I went back and added everything up:
$67 million for the cost of the Jones billing settlement.
$19 million in attorneys fees, over half of which went to attorneys who did almost 0 work.
An additional $39 million in Rule 17 violations after the Jones settlement was re-evaluated.
$22 million in city contracts to Aventador, the Paul Paradis-run company paid to help fix the billing problem. In the process of representing both sides of the billing lawsuit, Aventador scored $30 million in no-bid city contracts. The initial contract called for Paradis to find a chief project manager. So Paradis hired himself, twice, each time for more money. The most expensive guy with the least knowledge got the contract. But wait, after that information was reported on and the city canceled the remainder of the contract, the company changed its name to a car from the video game Grand Theft Auto: Ardent Cyber Solutions, and kept getting awarded multi-million dollar contracts by the city. That brings us to…
$8 million in contracts to Ardent in the spring of 2019.
$177,000 for an internal investigation into the city attorney’s office. The report absolved City Attorney Mike Feuer, who oversaw the billing lawsuit, but it interviewed…no one.
$26.6 million Oracle contract for DWP remediation.
$2.5 million in sanctions for covering up DWP. A judge handed the city of LA sanctions because of how obstructive it was in handling litigation related to the Jones billing settlement.
$17.8 million for KCC Class Actions Services.
$10.2 million in estimated attorneys fees paid to high-end attorney Eric George, who defended Feuer and the city in DWP.
$393,000 to Concentric Energy Advisors.
$658,991 for the independent monitor Paul Bender tasked with overseeing the implementation of the settlement.
$459,186 for Barcovich & Yap
$4.3 million in fees paid to court special master Ed Robbins for his DWP dossier.
$6 million to Paradis Law Group for “DWP remediation.”
So there you go. Over $200 million so Mike Feuer could maybe become mayor. Over $200 million so Eric Garcetti could go study abroad in India. Over $200 million so one guy could buy a third sports car.
And that’s not including the apparently millions in unpaid e-vendor invoices the city is on the hook for, a $17 million, SCCPA-approved contract for Ardent in April 2019, as well as Ardent’s share of a $82.5 million DWP request for proposal in July 2019. It’s unclear if those were paid out. How about all the legal fees the city is racking up in federal court right now over this? What else am I missing?
P.S. Substack recently dropped an app for iphone, for those of you who want less email or feel like posts get lost in the shuffle. It’s a simple way to aggregate various newsletters, and there are some great ones out there.