LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Another person linked to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's decade-old billing debacle has been sentenced to federal prison.
Former attorney Paul O. Paradis, 60, who represented the LADWP, was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in prison for accepting more than $2 million in illegal kickbacks tied to a surge of lawsuits filed against the city because of a computerized billing problem the department ran into when it made a software switch in 2013.
Paradis pleaded guilty to one count of bribery last year. He is the third high-ranking LADWP official to be sent to prison.
Last year, LADWP General Manager David Wright was sentenced to six years in prison, and LADWP Chief Information Security Officer David Alexander received a four-year sentence after both men pleaded guilty to felonies in the case.
The LADWP is now facing a new lawsuit filed by two current employees and two former employees who allege sexual harassment, discrimination, hostile work environment and other illegal activities.
"The claims of wrongdoing have only touched the surface," said attorney Bradley Gage who is representing the four. "We expect to see significant further developments in this case."
Gage pointed to the FBI investigation into bribery and kickbacks at the LADWP, saying his lawsuit should encourage investigators to keep digging at the troubled agency.
"All of us who are consumers wind up paying more money for a water and power," Gage said. "People get cheated and wrongdoers have prospered."
The LADWP issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, denying the misuse of funds.
"While we cannot comment on pending litigation involving employment matters, Board President McClain-Hill denies the misuse of any ratepayer funds. In the circumstance mentioned in the litigation, she was advised that the appropriate course of action to avoid taking an impermissible gift of meals while attending a business-related conference in her capacity as Board President was to submit for reimbursement by LADWP."