Three of the four plaintiffs in the lawsuit shared their stories in a press conference Tuesday. All three said they were either the victim of sexual harassment, or were retaliated against for reporting instances of sexual harassment.
Christopher Vicino, LADWP’s former director of security and emergency management, said that on multiple occasions he raised security concerns to his bosses, and that not only was nothing done to fix the issues, but the department hid these concerns from federal regulators.
Vicino and another plaintiff, Clarissa Valdovino alleged instances of sexual harassment in the department, including from the President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners Cynthia McClain-Hill.
Both Vicino and Valdovino claimed that McClain-Hill retaliated against them after they’d reported wrongdoing.
Vicino alleged he was fired because of his reports.
“Our former GM was convicted of manipulating DWP procurement processes to award sole-source contracts in exchange for favors,” Rodriguez said. “This suit alleges that this board, under McClain-Hill’s leadership, continues to steer sole source contracts to friends and political allies in violation of city contracting rules.”
Rodriguez also alleged that she’d been sexually harassed and that her reports were ignored.
“We expect to see significant further developments in this case to show other allegations of wrongdoing in connection with contracts, in connection with power rates, in connection with what each of us has to pay as consumers,” said Gage. “And this is a case that we intend to pursue, to go after all those who have alleged wrongdoing against them, even if they’re at the top of the department or the top of the city of Los Angeles.”