Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials on Wednesday skipped a joint city council committee about a recent audit released by City Controller Wendy Gruel that accused the DWP of lying to push through a rate hike, according to the Daily News.

The city council's Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee and Energy and Envrionment Committee had invited DWP officials to respond to the audit, which reported that the DWP lied in saying that it was not financially able to remit $73.5 million to the city.

DWP officials did not show up and interim DWP general manager Austin Beutner reportedly stated that he would not respond to the city council until the department's own ongoing internal investigation was done.

Council members were outraged and offended by the department's absence from the meeting. The committees decided to forward the audit to the full council, according to KPCC (89.3 FM).

“They have 10,000 employees,” Councilman Paul Koretz said. “They could have someone here.”

Koretz threatened to use the council's subpoena power to force Beutner to appear before the full City Council within the next two weeks.

He also instructed the City Attorney's Office to report whether any of the actions of DWP officials could rise to the level of criminal activity.

LA Weekly