DWP executive placed on leave


A top executive at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been placed on administrative leave while the utility looks into his involvement in the bitcoin mining industry and whether he complied with ethics rules that require employees to obtain permission for outside work.

John Chen, who earns $320,688 as director of the DWP’s corporate performance office, owns a company that began doing bitcoin mining in Colorado in 2018, court and business records show.

Chen, a 30-year veteran of the DWP, also registered as the manager of a mining data center company in North Dakota in 2018, business records show.

Chen was placed on leave last month after The Times asked the DWP about Chen’s ventures, according to a source at the utility.

A DWP spokesperson declined to comment on Chen’s administrative leave. Cynthia McClain-Hill, president of the DWP board of commissioner, called the issue of Chen’s outside ventures a “concern.”

“I would expect that employees at DWP and in particularly employees at his level, would be giving their full-time attention to the city and the…

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