Reports of lock downs and document seizures at LADWP

It was a day of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power rumors in the Sierra Wave newsroom. Emails, calls and visits reported that guards locked down all three Owens Valley DWP offices and took documents, that officials took documents from the Owens Dry Lake office, and that computers were taken from the Mojave DWP office. We were able to get some information on rumor number one.

A usually reliable source told us that this week guards showed up and shut down the DWP offices in Lone Pine, Independence and Bishop at the same time with guards on every gate. The story went that an email from management told workers to “give them any record they want.”

As our source reported, “They came from nowhere all at once and disappeared back to nowhere.” We placed calls to DWP Public Relations in Los Angeles with no response. A call to DWP PIO Chris Plakos in Bishop did result in a comment. To the reports of office lock down and seizure of documents, Plakos said only, “I can’t address it. This is a personnel matter.”

As for the other rumors, we have no confirmation of document seizures from the dry lake DWP office or Mojave DWP office. Other reports indicated some DWP middle-management were placed on administrative leave.


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39 Responses to Reports of lock downs and document seizures at LADWP

  1. taxifornia August 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    government gone wild…

  2. cat August 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    A “usually reliable source”….is that a new term in journalism. Just so I can process the story can you tell me Bennett, what percentage of the time is this source correct?

    • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      cat, usually reliable source is a very common term in journalism. Reporters develop sources, otherwise the public would never get to know
      a lot of things. Every reputable news paper and agency uses the term and uses these type of sources. Other than that, if anyone wants to
      know more about the news business, give me a call.
      Benett Kessler

      • cat August 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm #


        • cat August 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

          I know I will sound like a smart ass but…….”usually not reliable” is a term that seems to be used throughout journalism. There is also “reliable” which is another accepted term. It is just in the thirty plus years I have been reading the news, I have never heard some use a usually reliable source.

          Bennett, could you refer me to other news sources that have used this quote?

          • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

            I stand behind our story. You’re on your own to figure out the rest.
            Benett Kessler

          • cat August 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

            officially i am a jackass and you are correct benett, it just took me awhile to find.

            you should be proud!

          • Bill August 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

            Cat, seriously, give it a rest. I’m probably half your age and have heard this term many times.

            Check out the movie, “Nothing But The Truth” about the D.C. reporter who went to jail to protect her “source”. It’s a great movie, and true…

          • Like a drive-by shooting August 31, 2012 at 6:31 am #

            “Reliable sources” is what rags like The National Enquirer use all the time. Rumors. Hearsay. Trust Me.

            Oxycontin-inspired conservative guru, Rush Limbaugh has coined this term (I can’t believe I’m quoting that windbag) –
            “The Liberal Drive-by Media.”

            There is one person I trust today in today’s journalism.



          • Benett Kessler August 31, 2012 at 8:21 am #

            The Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, ABC News – the list goes on of news outlets that use the phrase.
            Perhaps you should expand your life experience a tad. Go beyond tabloids and Limbaugh. There is a big wide,
            intelligent world out there.

            Benett Kessler

  3. Ken Warner August 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Chinatown Part II

  4. Ken Warner August 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Which agency were the guards from?

    • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      We don’t know. Will continue to investigate.

      • Lighten up - without the Limbaughism August 31, 2012 at 10:35 am #

        “Perhaps you should expand your life experience a tad”.

        Ouch! Benett.
        Just a tad touchy are we?

        If I didn’t know better, I’d say you TOO have been tuning in it The Limbaugh Show and/or Fox News.

        • Benett Kessler August 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

          It’s not touchiness. Just a point of view.

          • Comedy Central August 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

            Love your sense of humor, Benett.

            Keep up the good work.
            : >

        • Tourbillon August 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

          If you can think, think about what you just said. You characterized as “touchy” gentle advice to expand one’s experiences, disparaging such advice by implying it suffers from the sin of being a conservative position. Logically then, a good liberal would hold the opposite position, which would be to avoid exposure to broadening views and experiences.

          Actually, you might be right. If that’s the progressive view, it would certainly explain a lot of things.

          • sad life philosophy September 1, 2012 at 7:30 am #

            “If you can think, think about what you just said …”
            And this sadly, is the form of caustic communication that has permeated our airways, is being told to our children, and trying to control every facet of our lives (because it’s “the only true American way”) It is Limbaughism at its nasty best.


            The belief system that embraces the following tenets:

            1. All Republicans are always right about everything.

            2. All Democrats are always wrong about everything.

            3. Anyone who disagrees with me about anything is an idiot and hates America.

            4. I get to decide for everyone what it means to be conservative, even if the issue at hand has nothing to do with conservatism/liberalism.

            5. Any facts that are in conflict with my opinion are lies from the liberal media.

            The opposite of thoughtful discourse. See Beckism.

            Similar to McCarthyism. Simply substitute “Liberal” for “Communist”.

            The oversimplification of any opinion is typical of Limbaughism.

          • Newspeak/Liberal September 1, 2012 at 11:21 am #

            George Orwell in his classic novel “1984,” tells us about “Newspeak.”
            Webster defines this to mean “Deliberately ambiguous and contradictory language used to mislead and manipulate the public used chiefly in political propaganda”

            Today when you hear the word LIBERAL used … just about everywhere,
            you can be sure it is being used for political propaganda. Conservatives like to use the word in almost every sentence.

            Most recently when Clint Eastwood addressed the RNC, it was noted how bizarre the behavior and distracting it was to the overall message of the convention. (Mr. Eastwood was clearly intoxicated and did some very strange things). As most on this blog had witnessed for themselves.

            When this was discussed on Fox News afterwards, the commentators and Mike Huckabee spewed out the most overused Newspeak today: “There go those whining liberals, again.”

            Do you see how its done?
            It (use of the demonized word liberal) is used on this blog quite often as well.

  5. Dingo August 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Guards!? Whoa!
    Can’t wait to hear all the juicy details.

    • Big AL August 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      Interesting .. mysteious ..

  6. sierragrl August 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    way mysterious…I can see allowing whoever it was to make copies of whatever they wanted (obviously they had legal backing)….but to take documents that may never been seen again??? I can think of many things you wouldn’t want to disappear forever. Something big must be going on…somehow I doubt it’s on the side of Inyo and Mono Counties!

    • Big AL August 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

      Some sort of audit maybe, either internal or external. it will sift out eventually.

  7. Steve K August 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    I would love to know who these guards work for. If it’s headquarters, then they are here to remove evidence. If that’s the case, we’ll never hear anything about this again.

    • Bill August 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

      Unfortunately, you are probably correct.

  8. Milt Tate August 31, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    This document seizure is most likely related to the Mammoth County Water District law suit. In this age of computer based records, discovery can include a lockdown to preclude any modification of the records in the system before copies can be obtained. I image you are trying to verify why the documents were seize before reporting that.

    • Benett Kessler August 31, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      Yes, we are busy investigating.
      Benett Kessler

  9. skandar August 31, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Home land security would seem like a candidate , such as the water going south is a very large terrorist target….No reliable source from this end, just a comment from the bleachers…

    • Trouble August 31, 2012 at 9:14 am #

      Skandar- are you trying to get our access to our lakes and rivers taken away? Comments like yours are not going to help.

  10. MJA August 31, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Stealin water is a dirty business, isn’t it?


  11. Jeremiah's Alter Ego August 31, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    “The greatest good for the greatest number of people”

    This is a interesting story. Hopefully we can get the facts before the public fills in the blank with our colorful imaginations.

  12. Trouble August 31, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Hope we all get a refund when this all comes out. Don’t bet on it!

  13. Taylor August 31, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Could it be graft or fingers in the pie? Ya think

  14. Karen August 31, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    There is an ex-security guard from DWP that has been harassing me, accusing me of terrible thing’s and he doesn’t even know me, all because of car’s. All these things he has said, now reading about this with DWP, doesn’t surprise me. This guy isn’t wrapped to tightly and neither is DWP, especially for hiring him. it doesnt make them look so good.

  15. Geovalu August 31, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    I grew up and lived in Bishop for 18 years. My grandfather relocated from the LA area as a DWP employee. I once was told by a reliable source (not my grandfather) that one day the pervebial LA-Owens Valley water agreement would come to a perverbial head, based on the fact that the City of Los Angeles has been “skirting” the law with their policies and ethics. This source also confirmed that the negative consequences could bring development to the Owens Valley. However you look at this situation, something seems suspicious.

  16. Reality bites again August 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    It is claimed to be a personnel matter. They needed to lock-down three offices.
    Sounds like a bunch of BS.
    I don’t need a BS degree to know BS when I see or hear it.

    Those documents are gone, and forever.

  17. beach family September 1, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    You guys up there should make some noise. What do you have to loose?

  18. sarah September 1, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    I once worked in an office that was into developing offshore banks in Anguilla. One day the FBI came in and seized all their files. I gather it’s a typical FBI tactic. Could it be them? That would make it a federal issue, though.

  19. Trouble September 2, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Sarah- I hope it was the FBI. Their only 90 years to late.


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