The City of Los Angeles has always had multiple cases of corruption, messily covered up so as to keep the public in the dark. Yet the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power scandal was not covered up that well by the lawyers involved. So, in this article, I am going to give you the gist of the DWP Scandal.
What Is The DWP Scandal About?
In general terms, the DWP scandal is a saga of corruption where the City of Los Angeles basically ended up turning against itself. There are many names involved here that are crucial to the case, so make sure you keep track of them so you do not become confused.
The saga began in 2013 when the city was in a difficult position due to its messy billing system, which mistakenly ended up overcharging customers on multiple occasions. To fix the problem, city attorney Mike Feuer brought in two consumer attorneys, Paul Kiesel and Paul Paradis, to fix the issue and represent the city, with the latter doing most of the action.
One of the overcharged customers was Antwon Jones, and he wanted to sue the city over this error. On his mission to do so, he came across Paul Paradis and hired him as an attorney to represent Jones in this incorrect billing case. Paradis never revealed to his new client that he was simultaneously representing the city of Los Angeles as well.
Paradis put Jones forward as the plaintiff in this new case, thereby overshadowing all the remaining lawsuits regarding the billing system. He then brought forth an attorney from Ohio, Jack Landskroner.
This was done so that this new attorney could represent Jones in court while Paradis would do all the actual legal work from behind the scenes. This also ensured that Paradis could also take the necessary actions that could make the case look like it was done on the city’s terms. Hence, Paradis also received 20% of the new attorney’s paycheck.
As a result, Paradis appeared to not exist at all when it came to Jones’ lawsuit. After the settlement was done, around 2015, Paradis started up a consulting company referred to as Aventador Utility Solutions in order to rectify those exact billing problems, where he was approved for a $30 million contract. This contract was eventually canceled.
The whole lawsuit was dropped in the year of 2019 by the office of Mike Feuer. Mike Feuer, the man who started it all, claimed that he had no idea about the actions of the two Pauls and his office accused them of “going rogue”. Paul Paradis and Paul Kiesel claimed to simply follow the city’s orders. If you are looking for some more details about the case, you can take a look here.
Where Are All The Key Players Of The DWP Scandal Now?
Mike Feuer is still the City Attorney of Los Angeles and is set to be a candidate to be the Mayor of Los Angeles. His office was thoroughly searched by the FBI in 2019, but nothing concrete was discovered.
Paul Paradis was sued by the city and eventually pleaded to the Fifth Amendment. He is currently bankrupt and is currently residing in Arizona. Paradis is also in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings.
Jack Landskroner was said to have repeatedly pleaded the fifth against self-incrimination. This was when he was questioned by a judge if his fees were shared with Paradis or not. He passed away last summer.
Quite a mess, isn’t it? Hopefully, after reading this article, some of your confusion about the DWP Scandal has been cleared and you have a coherent understanding of it. Wishing you a good day ahead!