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DWP to hire former GM Nahai as consultant

October 6, 2009 12:03:26 AM PDT
The Department of Water and Power's controversial plan to hire former DWP chief David Nahai as a consultant was debated Tuesday. The outgoing head of the Department of Water and Power (DWP) will get nearly $6,300 a week, his full salary, to consult with the utility company. This despite efforts by some city council members to stop the deal.

The L.A. deputy mayor was named Tuesday as the interim DWP general manager.

David Nahai resigned last week as the head of the multi-billion-dollar Department of Water and Power.

Tuesday, the DWP board hired an experienced former general manager, David Freeman, as a temporary general manager.

Acting DWP General Manager Raman Raj worked out the deal to hire Nahai as a $6,300-a-week consultant until the end of the year.

DWP President Lee Kanon Alpert agrees with Nahai as a consultant.

"He has been in negotiations, public and private, that some may not be familiar with," said Alpert.

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine wants the DWP board to come to the city council and explain the logic behind the Nahai contract in tough economic times.

Zine points out that Freeman knows the department inside and out. Freeman also was an energy czar for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"It makes absolutely no sense, no sense," said Zine. "Voters are being asked to cut back. It's illogical, irresponsible and it's wrong."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praises Nahai's work at the DWP, but is careful not to criticize the consultant's deal.

"I assume it's going to be for services rendered and value added for those services," said Villaraigosa. "I can't comment until I've had an opportunity to review it."

Unless Zine is succsssful in stopping Nahai, he will draw his old salary as a consultant to the DWP. And Freeman will become probably the most experienced manager in utilities today.

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