Utilities get subpoenas over Sandy response

A National Grid crew from Fredonia, N.Y. , repair power lines in Port Washington, N.Y., Wednesday Nov. 7, 2012. The lines were damaged during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

November 29, 2012 4:36:48 AM PST
New York's powerful Moreland Commission has issued subpoenas to utilities in its investigation of their response and recovery operations during Superstorm Sandy.

State spokesman David Neustadt confirmed the commission created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the subpoenas Wednesday. Neustadt wouldn't comment on the probe or which utilities were served.

Spokesmen for Consolidated Edison Co. and the Long Island Power Authority confirmed their companies received the subpoenas, but wouldn't comment on what is being sought. Both said they would cooperate with investigations.

"We will cooperate with the Moreland Commission's request and look forward to discussing the company's storm preparations and response with the Commission and all interested parties," ConEd said it a statement provided by spokeswoman Sara Banda.

On Nov. 20, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to ConEd and LIPA.

Cuomo had also said he wants the commission to evaluate other utilities serving the New York City and suburban areas, including New York State Electric and Gas Corp. and National Grid, which operates under LIPA. Spokesman for NYSEG and National Grid didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Cuomo used the decades-old crime-busting law called the Moreland Act on Nov. 13 to name a commission to investigate how utility companies prepared for and reacted to Superstorm Sandy. The storm knocked out power to more than 2 million customers in New York alone, and left some without electricity for two weeks and counting.

Cuomo ordered the probe to investigate what he considered slow progress restoring power to customers from Long Island to the Hudson Valley. The commission will be run by former Attorney General Robert Abrams and Cuomo's financial services director, Benjamin Lawsky.

The superstorm, formed when Hurricane Sandy merged with two other weather systems, killed more than 100 people in 10 states.

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