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Uniondale, NY - Chief Operating Officer of LIPA Resigns

Published on: November 13, 2012 07:41 PM
By: AP
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Michael Hervey LIPA's chief operating officer Michael Hervey LIPA's chief operating officer

Uniondale, NY - The chief operating officer of a utility company heavily criticized for its response to Superstorm Sandy is stepping down.

The Long Island Power Authority announced Tuesday that Michael Hervey had tendered his resignation, effective at the end of the year. Hervey has been with LIPA for 12 years.

LIPA has come under withering criticism since Sandy knocked out power to more than a million of its customers on Oct. 29, both for how long it was taking to get power restored and for poor communication with customers.

There are about 10,000 outages in Nassau and Suffolk counties, just east of New York City, and LIPA officials have said they hope to have most of them resolved by Wednesday.

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The company said Tuesday that 99 percent of those customers that can safely get power have it restored. But 35,000 customers that suffered significant flood damage need repairs on their properties before power can come back.

The majority of those customers are in the hard-hit Rockaways section of Queens, served by LIPA. The Consolidated Edison utility also had about 4,000 customers in that position, in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

A state report criticized LIPA in June for poor customer communications after last year’s Hurricane Irene. The Department of Public Service noted LIPA’s major problems in telling customers estimated power restoration times, faulting its computer system, which a consultant had found deficient in 2006.

LIPA acknowledged that customers weren’t getting the information they needed, partly because of the system, which it is updating. Hervey said Monday that LIPA “accelerated that process” after Irene but it’s still an 18-month to two-year procedure.

“We would have liked to have had it up and running for now,” he said, “but it’s just such a large magnitude computer system that it takes that long.”

Hervey said the company would work with customers over the next several weeks as they get their homes repaired.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced an investigation into how utility companies prepared for Sandy, which killed more than 100 people in 10 states but hit New York and New Jersey the hardest, and how they handled the aftermath.

“From Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, to Hurricane Sandy, over the past two years New York has experienced some of the worst natural disasters in our state’s history,” Cuomo said. “As we adjust to the reality of more frequent major weather incidents, we must study and learn from these past experiences to prepare for the future.”


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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 13, 2012 at 08:25 PM DB_from_LI Says:

About time!
Unfortunately he will probably get a multi million dollar resignation package (built into his contract) which will eventually be footed by us LI'ers

2

 Nov 13, 2012 at 09:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Good start. Now we have to get rid of other incompetent officials like Bloomberg

3

 Nov 13, 2012 at 10:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Good start. Now we have to get rid of other incompetent officials like Bloomberg

What about the biggest crooks at Con Ed? They charge the highest rates in the USA and give us the lousiest service...

4

 Nov 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
DB_from_LI Says:

About time!
Unfortunately he will probably get a multi million dollar resignation package (built into his contract) which will eventually be footed by us LI'ers

He will get several million dollars but it will be in the form of earned retirement benefits...he will get zero "severance", only what he has accrued in nearly 20 years of service at LIPA. He is being made a scapegoat for the State which has refused to increase rates enough to support the needed investment in greater reliability.

5

 Nov 14, 2012 at 06:33 AM Abramowitz Says:

There are individuals such as this former utility official, who are paid extraordinary salaries, but are out of touch with the common folk, when an electrical outage occurs. There are many outages which occur, which aren't the result of nature, but occur because of a utilities' aging plant and infrastructure, which are not being properly maintained. Our area has such a utility, named American Electric Power. Not only can't we access a live human being during such an outage, but when the outage ends, the utility never tells us the reason for the outage. The response from the state public utiility commission is very lax, also. The public is going to have to be more proactive, in demanding that the electrical utility grid across North America be buried underground. If trillions were spent on improving the electrical infrastructure in Iraq and other countries, then surely it could be spent here. In EY, a large percent of the electrical transmission lines are buried.

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