The board of commissioners of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power today voted to give the city's main coffers a promised $73.5 million after three months of argument about the cash, which was held up over the DWP's demand that the City Council raise electricity rates. (We've seen holdup artists who were kinder to their victims).

The commissioners, appointed by a mayor who also lobbied for massive DWP rate hikes that were watered down in the form of a near-five-percent increase, voted unanimously to hand the money over to the city's elected leaders for inclusion in a deficit-reduction effort. The move came a week after the council approved the rate hike in what felt like a deal to secure the much-needed cash from the DWP.

Last week Councilwoman Jan Perry attempted to quash the rate hike after learning that it was permanent: Many on the council believed it would last for three months, starting July 1, after which the council could threaten to take it away in its effort to reform the DWP, make it more transparent, and make it more accountable to the council.

However, Perry's move failed after Councilman Bernard Parks, who would have joined her, was reportedly just minutes late and failed to record a vote in the matter.

The council badly wanted the cash: It's been grappling with ways to kill its current, $212 million deficit without laying people off and making difficult and unpopular cuts. (Background).

-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us.

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