LADWP security guard earned nearly $1 million over the past three years, new data show (July 13, 2020)

Overtime pay at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) hit a record-high $258 million last year, up 90 percent from 2013.

Topping the overtime pay list for the 2nd year in a row was LADWP principal security officer Ricardo Frias, who received $319,724 in overtime pay on top of a $24,672 base salary.

The agency reports a maximum salary for this position of $86,693. Duties include directing other security officers to patrol buildings and related work. Minimum requirements include a valid California driver’s license and one year of experience as a senior security officer.

As reported previously, Frias also earned over $300,000 in overtime pay in 2018 and over $200,000 the year before that. In total, Frias received $931,230 over the past three years, or more than $1 million when the cost of employer-paid health and retirement benefits are included.

The average LADWP worker made $136,045 last year, with a record-high 320 employees receiving overtime pay of at least $100,000. That number is up over 1,000% from 2013 …

Overtime payments of more than $200,000 apiece all contributed to the department’s top three earners, who were:

  • Senior Load Dispatcher Robert Goodson, who earned $469,825.
  • Senior Load Dispatcher Mark Hardie, who earned $460,715.
  • Electric Distribution Mechanical Supervisor Luis Montalvo, who earned $444,280.

In total, the LADWP spent $1.48 billion on payroll last year, up 40 percent from 2013.

An independent study previously found that payroll expenses at the LADWP were vastly higher than peer utility agencies, both regionally and nationwide.

Specifically, the study found the LADWP’s total payroll expense was equal to $488 per customer served, whereas the median rate among large utility companies nationwide was only $282.

Based on the number of customers served, this suggests the LADWP is spending an additional $424 million annually on payroll as compared to the median peer utility company nationwide.

To explore the just-released 2019 dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, please visit

Transparent California will be continually updating the site with new data. Be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts, sign up for our mailing list, or subscribe to our blog in order to receive the latest updates.

For more information, please contact Robert Fellner at 559-462-0122 or [email protected].

Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a nonpartisan, free-market think tank. The website is used by millions of Californians each year, including elected officials and lawmakers, government employees and their unions, government agencies, university researchers, the media, and concerned citizens alike. Learn more at