LOS ANGELES: Fleishman-Hillard announced today that it will bow out of three lucrative but controversial city government contracts. In a statement, Fleishman regional president and L.A. GM Richard Kline said the firm will not seek extensions or renewals of contracts with the L.A. Department of Water and Power, the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), or the Port of Los Angeles.
The DWP contract is set to expire on June 30th. The Port contract expires on July 10th, and the agency will voluntarily end its contract with LAWA in 30 days on May 20th, although that contract is slated to end in November. Despite holding the contract, Fleishman's statement said the firm had not done any work for LAWA in two years.
Ending the contracts was described as a mutual decision between the agency and the individual clients after discussions this week.
Kline also addressed specifics about the kind of projects Fleishman has done for the three clients. The lack of detailed information about initiatives has been a point of controversy in the ongoing debate.
"Our work for the LADWP began by helping it prepare for energy deregulation," Kline said. "Today, the challenges are more numerous, including encouraging the wise use of scarce water supplies, environmental threats, state and federal legislation that could have detrimental impacts on the LADWP and the city, as well as the issues of diversity and economic development.
"For the Port, our work has included helping promote initiatives to clean the air, including the AMP program to allow ships to use cleaner shore-side power."
Fleishman Hillard's government contracts and its close ties with the administration of Mayor James K. Hahn have been in the spotlight for months as multiple grand jury investigations have examined what is being called a "pay-to-play" atmosphere where those wishing to win city contracts may have been encouraged to donate money to Hahn's campaign.