This story has been updated.
In 1999, the state Legislature made the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California create an ethics office. Metropolitan, the main supplier of San Diego’s water, had just been caught up in an ethically questionable public relations campaign aimed at blocking the San Diego County Water Authority from buying water from someone else.
Now, that ethics office – rather than mediating the long-running feud between the Water Authority and Metropolitan – has become another tool in the fight.
On Tuesday, Metropolitan’s board may vote to fire its ethics officer, Deena Ghaly, after she appeared to side with the Water Authority in two recent investigations.
Ghaly’s office closed one investigation that centered on whether a Water Authority representative leaked an internal Metropolitan document.
In the other investigation, Ghaly’s office said that Metropolitan’s former chief operating officer had deliberately misled the board about a water recycling project in Los Angeles that San Diego opposes.