The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power pays its workers more than the City of Los Angeles, which in turn pays its employees way more than workers in the private sector.

For most of us, “private sector” means the real world, where market forces determine what we earn. Government work, which used to pay less but was steady, now pays more and is so steady employees almost never get fired, even for cause.

If DWP rich pay weren’t enough, they have a slush fund paid for by ratepayers, aka, the working stiffs who use water and electricity.

Jack Dolan at the LA Times. The Times broke this story

Two nonprofit trusts created by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and financed with more than $40 million from ratepayers paid millions to vendors without competitive bids, overpaid top managers and let them charge personal travel, gasoline and other items without filing expense reports, city audits released Thursday showed.

In five years, a handful of trust employees charged more than $660,000 to their publicly financed credit cards for things such as steak dinners and trips to Las Vegas, Hawaii and New Orleans, City Controller Ron Galperin said.

However, Galperin said, auditors did not find evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

So fleecing ratepayers is perfectly legal. There oughta be a law!

One top administrator, who was making about $220,000 a year, used his trust-issued card for more than $30,000 worth of gas between 2010 and 2014, city auditors found.

The release of the audits ended a more than year-long political and legal battle waged against the city by the nonprofits’ top administrators — particularly Brian D’Arcy, head of the city-owned utility’s largest employees’ union — to keep detailed spending records secret.

After blasting the administrators for “cavalier” spending of public money, Galperin called publication of the audit a victory for transparency. “We were fought tooth and nail on this, and we won,” Galperin said.

The records, including thousands of credit card charges, will be posted on the controller’s website.