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Former Head Of LADWP Will Plead Guilty For Bribery

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — On Monday, the Department of Justice announced the former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power agreed to plead guilty for accepting bribes.

David H. Wright, who was the head of LADWP from September 2016-2019, will plead guilty for bribery after he accepted kickbacks from a lawyer in exchange for awarding a three-year $30 million LADWP contract to the lawyer's company. The charge can carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. As part of the agreement, Wright also admitted to other instances of corruption as the head of the LADWP. Wright resigned at the direction of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

According to Wright's plea agreement in 2016 and 2017, Wright developed a relationship with lawyer Paul O. Paradis when he represented the LADWP lawsuit against the vendor of its billing system for misbilling hundreds of thousands of customers. In early 2017, the two agreed that if Wright pushed for Paradis's company Aventador Utility Services LLC to receive the $30 million contract, Wright would be named as Aventador's CEO and would receive a luxury car once he retired from LADWP. The position of CEO would be a $1-million-per-year-job.

Paradis also agreed to plead guilty for accepting a $2.2 million kickback in another incident.

Wright will make his initial appearance in court on Dec. 10. Paradis is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Dec. 16.

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