Entries in Long Island Power Authority (2)


Long Island Power Authority Head Resigns Amid Sandy Criticism

Long Island Power Authority(NEW YORK) -- The head of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is stepping down amid widespread criticism of the company in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

In a statement Tuesday, LIPA Chairman Howard Steinberg said Mike Hervey's resignation as chief operating officer will be effective at the end of the year.  Hervey has been with the company for 12 years.

LIPA has received much flack for its slow response in restoring power to more than a million customers after Sandy struck the area on Oct. 29.  As of Wednesday morning, more than 8,000 customers still remain in the dark.

The company said on Tuesday that it had restored power to 99 percent of customers who are able to safely receive power.  But for about 35,000 others who are in flooded areas, customer repairs will need to be done first before LIPA can turn their lights back on.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


N.Y. Utility Boss Apologizes to Slain Soldier's Family for Flag Hanging Fee

Photodisc/Thinkstock(SHELTER ISLAND, N.Y.) -- The chairman of a New York utility company apologized Thursday to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan for charging a fee to hang American flags from their poles during a ceremony to honor him.

Howard Steinberg, chairman of the Long Island Power Authority, reached out to the family of Lt. Joseph Theinert a week after the memorial service in the small town of Shelter Island.

"We want to apologize to the family of Lieutenant Theinert," Steinberg said in a statement. "The trustees and I are all very upset about this. We do not support the idea of charging for flags to be hung on LIPA poles, nor do we approve of the way it was handled before it was brought to LIPA Chief Operating Officer Mike Hervey's attention. This will not be an issue going forward."

After the flag flap became public earlier this week, Hervey offered to pay the flag fee out of his own pocket.

Shelter Island held a memorial parade last Thursday to honor Theinert, a town resident who was killed in Afghanistan. The service included having members of Theinert's old unit march along a flag draped street that was named after Theinert.

Then they got the bill. LIPA charged them for hanging the American flags from its utility poles.

The resulting outcry prompted a change of heart from the embarrassed power company. Hervey spoke to the Theinert family on Tuesday in addition to offering to pay the $23.75 tab personally.

A LIPA spokesperson told ABC News that charging for the use of the utility poles was a state law. Drew Biondo, a spokesman for state Sen. Ken LaValle, told ABC News, "The law applies to for profit companies. Not local governments and municipalities. We think it's an over interpretation of the law."

According to Biondo, local politicians held a teleconference with LIPA's legal team late Wednesday. Lawyers from the power authority told them there is no need for corrective legislation. Both sides say they will continue discussing this issue and speak with officials in the state capital of Albany to get clarification on the interpretation of the law to resolve future situations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio