Two More Exit LIPA After Sandy Failures

Customer service vice president Bruce Germano and trustee X. Cristofer Damianos call it quits after the utility's response to the superstorm.

The ranks at the Long Island Power Authority continued to thin Tuesday as customer service vice president Bruce Germano and trustee X. Cristofer Damianos quit their posts at the utility.

They will join acting-CEO Michael Hervey in leaving LIPA at the end of the year, following scathing criticism of the utility's leadership from the governor down to the locals left in the dark by LIPA's communications failures after the devastating hurricane struck the area on Oct. 29.

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Germano had worked in the energy industry for 37 years, according to his LIPA profile, having spent time at companies including KeySpan and the former Long Island Lighting Company.

"My decision to leave is purely a personal decision," he said in a statement.
Damianos, a real estate exec, was appointed to the board of trustees in 2007 by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. His exit leaves LIPA with only nine trustees, just one higher than the eight needed to operate as a board.

In the month following the storm, pressure has mounted against the utility for its missteps during the recovery process. While power outages topping 1 million for LIPA customers was unprecedented, the utility buckled when it came to communicating with the public about restoration times. At the same time, both county executives on Long Island bashed LIPA leadership, with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone eventually sidestepping them to work directly with crews working on fixing power outages, many that stretched beyond two weeks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has since launched a Moreland Commission to scrutinize the utilities' response, and has tapped Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice to lead the investigation into utility preparations. The governor chose Deputy Suffolk County Executive Regina Calcaterra to lead the commission.

Last week, Cuomo said LIPA "has to end," though he said he will wait for the commission's full report to be delivered in a few weeks before making recommendations.

This story was written by Henry Powderly.
PitBull November 27, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Moreland means more connected politics and taxpayer money wasted how about we try real unconnected people we might get the real story who was behind this all Daddy Cuomo for starters
Ralph A. November 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM
First they should not be allowed to resign: FIRE THEM! That way they will loose their pensions that the ratepayers and taxpayers will keep on paying long after they had left. Wasn't about LIPA's end mentioned with the March nor'easter in 2010 and with Hurricane Irene last year? Sandy some how seemed to be ten times worse. No I don't think LIPA was prepared for this one. And yet they and government kept talking about "Not if but when will the big one hit."


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