LOS ANGELES — Ron Nichols, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, announced Thursday that he is stepping down at the end of the month.

"My decision is my own and is for personal reasons," Nichols said in his letter. "I was brought in to lead DWP by the prior administration and I felt it important to stay on board afterward to provide time for the new administration's transition."

Mayor Eric Garcetti took office in July.

Nichols said he has not sought a new position in the industry out of respect for his role at LADWP and to avoid any conflict of interest.

Nichols, who has headed the department for three years, has the longest tenure in that position over the past 10 years.

The department has been under fire in recent months from Garcetti's new LADWP commission appointees and City Controller Ron Galperin over transparency issues related to the Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute, two DWP affiliated non-profits managed by Brian D'Arcy, leader of the DWP's largest employee union.

The two entities have received $40 million from DWP over the last 10 years.

Galperin announced Wednesday that he had subpoenaed D'Arcy after he failed to appear at a meeting to discuss audits of the two organizations.

"This unnecessary fight over such a straightforward matter of public information has gone on far too long," Galperin said in a statement.

Garcetti thanked Nichols for his service in a statement adding that he is focused on continuing to reform the DWP to cut costs, improve customer service and increase transparency.

In a letter to city leaders, Nichols said he has "greatly enjoyed the challenges of this position and the opportunity to lead the largest municipal utility in the nation."

The letter also listed 15 achievements accomplished during his time with the department.

Many are related to the department's efforts to produce energy more efficiently and provide water using methods less harmful to the ocean. He cited the establishment of a plan to reduce the city's dependence on coal in its power plants and eliminate ocean-cooling. Nichols also has been working to accelerate replacement of the city's aging water pipes.

Working with city officials, Nichols said they hammered out an equitable and cost-saving contract with employee unions.

LADWP is in the midst of a massive capital program on both the water and electric sides expected to result in the issuance of $2 billion in bonds over the next several years.

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