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DWP Executive John Chen Suspended After Engaging in Crypto Mining

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John Chen, an executive working with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), has been placed on administrative leave after he took part in crypto mining companies that allegedly go against the values and ethics of his agency.

John Chen in Hot Water

Chen reportedly earns more than $300K a year through his job with the DWP. He has served, for the past few years, as the department’s director, though having been part of a crypto mining company in Colorado since 2018, his constituents say his outside business ventures don’t sit in line with those of the department. Thus, he’s no longer employed while the other executives further examine his activities.

It’s also alleged, through various court documents, that Chen is the manager of a mining data center in North Dakota. In the end, Chen was given an ultimatum… Either remain solely with the department and leave his outside ventures to others or be relieved of his duties… Chen chose the latter.

Cynthia McClain-Hill – president of the DWP board of commissioners – says she and her associates were shocked and displeased when they found out about Chen’s outside business dealings. In an interview, she stated:

I would expect that employees at DWP, and in particular employees at his level, would be giving their full-time attention to the city and the city’s business.

Chen was quick to defend himself, saying:

It’s an investment. I’m not running it. There’s outside staff that are running it.

To be fair, the associates of Chen aren’t displeased with him taking part in bitcoin. They acknowledge that this is a free country and people can pursue whatever makes them happy so long as their actions don’t hurt or disband others. Their concerns lie in the fact that he has a very demanding job, and thus taking part in other business ventures suggests he’s not devoting the proper amount of attention to his DWP duties.

Bob Stern – who worked to draft the public campaign and ethics laws of the city – said his main concern lies with Chen not being able to devote all he needs to the DWP job given he’s allegedly tied up with crypto mining. He said:

Is he giving L.A. what he’s earning? Is he performing 40 hours a week?

Does This Really Warrant Concern?

Further documentation surrounding the situation shows Chen allegedly partnered with companies in both Singapore and China to bring the Colorado firm to fruition. Also, he secured an economic development deal with Colorado Springs Utilities to garner lesser rates for electricity.

This all seems like an odd reason to get into a huff. If Chen is doing everything on his own time, like he clearly states, and he’s doing a good job with the DWP, what is the big deal?

Nick Marinoff
Nick Marinoffhttps://www.livebitcoinnews.com/
Nick Marinoff is currently a lead news writer and editor for Money & Tech, a San Francisco-based broadcasting station that reports on all things digital currency-related. He has also written for a number of other online and print publications including Black Impact Magazine, EKT Interactive, Seal Beach USA and Benzinga.com, to name a few. He has recently published his first e-book "Take a 'Loan' Off Your Shoulders: 14 Simple Tricks for Graduating Debt Free" now available on Amazon. He is excited about the potential digital currency offers, particularly its ability to finance unbanked populations and bring nations together financially.

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