SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer Watchdog wrote Mayor Eric Garcetti today that last-minute revisions to a DWP ratepayer overbilling settlement now boost attorneys' fees 46 percent to $19 million from $13 million, but shortchange ratepayers who should be paid interest on refunds owed them for three years. Consumer Watchdog pointed out that while $67 million in overcharges will finally go back to consumers, $42 million will go to attorneys and computer consultants without explanation. ( $19 million attorneys, $20 million computer consultants and companies, $3 million in lawyer expenses for so-called "independent monitor.") "The settlement is an outrageous example of lawyers and insiders larding themselves at the public trough," wrote Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court and consumer advocate Liza Tucker. "Meantime, ratepayers are at the back of the bus—they don't get paid back with interest, and they have to wait until late 2017 to see a penny. The public deserves the right to know what went wrong and ratepayers deserve interest on stolen money." Read the letter at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/garcettiletter11-17-16.pdf The letter continued: "Mr. Mayor, the settlement with ballooning public costs offers no public transparency into why these billing errors occurred or how they will be prevented in the future, let alone how ratepayers know they will receive appropriate refund amounts without an independent claims administrator." "Paying $19 million to attorneys who have not taken a single deposition in this case and failed to represent ratepayers aggressively is an abuse of taxpayer dollars," Consumer Watchdog wrote. "Overall, more than $42 million in public money from this over $100 million expenditure is going to attorneys, computer consultants, and computer systems without ratepayers receiving any explanations." The letter called on Garcetti to order interest be paid to ratepayers on money owed since 2013, stop customers from being threatened with termination of service until the billing scandal is sorted out, and require DWP to be more transparent about its relationship with outside attorneys.