DWP double agents? Watchdog says attorneys represented both sides in suit

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It was a huge problem for the LA Department of Water and Power six years ago when a new billing system overcharged customers and sent out inaccurate bills.

There was a class-action settlement of almost $68 million.

But Consumer Watchdog says there was a problem with that settlement.

"This was about money, this was about greed," says Jamie Court from Consumer Watchdog.

Court claims that two outside attorneys who were working on the case for the city were at the same time also representing the other side.

He says attorneys Paul Kiesel and Paul Paradis were working with the City Attorney's Office at the same time they were representing plaintiff Antwon Jones.

"The attorneys at issue represented the plaintiff and they represented the city the DWP in its billing issue error and that is unethical," says Court

Court says the billing problems were never fully revealed and that hurt the ratepayers.

City Attorney Mike Feuer's office says it is conducting a review.

Feuer's office said "The City Attorney was never apprised that outside counsel may concurrently have been representing Mr. Jones on a possible matter against LADWP at the same time outside counsel was representing LADWP."

Court wants Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate.

"The city attorney cannot investigate an ethics review where he is involved or where he may have participated in the scheme," says Court.
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