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Cynthia McClain-Hill resigns from LADWP


Former commission president

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, Cynthia Mcclain-Hill resigned as commission president of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. At that day’s commission meeting, McClain-Hill said she would be giving an opening statement for the last time, adding that it had been a “distinct honor, privilege, and pleasure to serve as your member of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power.”

The reasons behind her stepping down are centered around reports of criticism levied against McClain-Hill and former DWP Commission president Mel Levine regarding a private phone call in 2019. The two commissioners allegedly discussed with two cybersecurity executives a utility their separate companies new contracts award their company a new contract. The city’s Ethics Department disallows commissioners from privately reviewing contracts with vendors.  In her remarks, McClain-Hill highlighted her efforts to conserve water, improve customer service, DWP governance reforms, and efforts to protect the environment.

“I’m proud of the forward-looking public policy initiatives that have been accomplished during my tenure as board president, including the adoption of the strongest customer protections related to utility service access, securing and distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in utility debt relief to our most financially vulnerable customers, and the launch of programs to help individual residents and working families stand conditions of extreme heat made worse by climate change,” McClain-Hill said. She also touted the utility’s recent release of its LA 100 Equity Strategies, which serves as the department’s blueprint for clean energy and decarbonization efforts.

“I wish to thank you for the opportunity to work tirelessly in partnership with appointed public servants on behalf of our mayor’s administration to deliver valuable health policy programs and essential services that benefit the people in the city of Los Angeles, and support residential and business customers of the Department of Water and Power,” McClain-Hill said.

Former Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Mcclain-Hill to the board in 2018, which was also the time the feds were investigating LADWP for corruption. The investigation led to then-general manager David Wright stepping down in 2019, among other changes. Now, five years later, LADWP is also looking to hire a new General Manager as Martin Adams is retiring in March.