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.

Follow Long Beach Patch on Facebook.   

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.

Be a Follower. Explore and subscribe to Patch groups.

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.

Robert Demarco November 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM
...and had the proper parts and supplies on hand for a storm they knew was coming. They had no logistics in place to deploy men and supplies, and the guys from out of town, certified lineman, had to have their work reviewed and approved by LIPA.
John Gruber November 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM
the lineman were anything BUT the problem, that fact that upper management didn't even know where their equipment was and couldn't even coordinate the restoration process effectively signifies that the problems are up top, not at the linemen level
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM
No politician had any business screwing ratepayers by appointing them, either.
John Gruber November 27, 2012 at 05:59 PM
when there are over a million people without power it's not that easy
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Bingo and Bingo.
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 06:02 PM
True enough, when you fail to plan, build and maintain, such that it gets that bad,
Joe November 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Exactly my thoughts and when it gets tough, the weak run.
deb November 27, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Well said, I keep thinking the same thing. I don't get people. It's like walking into dunkin donuts saying I want 2,000 donuts in half an hour and then critizizing them b/c they cant do it in time. Shame.
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 06:39 PM
More a case of calling ahead a week beforehand, saying "I want to maintain my usual order" and LIPA fails to deliver.
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Run, and take their parachutes.
moise November 27, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Don't anyone know that National Grid is actually handling the restoration work. PSEG won the LIPA bid and will be taking over operations and maintenance. Beat LIPA up all you want...Look at National Greed for the past and present screw ups ..Not that the workers aren't up for the task, it's that in their hurry to cut costs Nat Geed had a severe brain drain in the line supervisors who really know how to handle these kinds of problems. Through out New York and New England they cut 12,000 jobs through attrition and excessing..They have Back Office Supervision without any field experience running outside operations...... PSEG has a much better track record..
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 06:54 PM
And who minds the LIPA store and minds the Nat Grid minders, Chuckie? Mike Hervey... Oh, yeah, not so much. A whole 39 seconds of planning for the storm.
Dave November 27, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I've no problem with the linemen; I'm eternally grateful both to them and the thousands of out-of-state workers who came over to help out. But management, and this Board in particular, were a complete disaster. No preventative measures taken before the storm hit, no additional supplies on hand, no communication with their customers (or some of their crews). It was an unprecedented level of failure on the part of their leadership, who will be rewarded with fat paychecks and severence packages. That's what we're criticizing.
K. November 27, 2012 at 07:05 PM
You can change the people all you want but it will never change the fact that the current structure used to deliver the juice is completely inadequate. Unless you have Arthur Fonzarelli and The A-Team on that board, you can expect the lights to go out again when we have an actual hurricane.
Frank November 27, 2012 at 07:25 PM
you think Sandra Lee can make those cream cheese squares with pimento? Boardroom favorite!
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Add carrot and celery sticks. Perfecto!
moise November 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Without a doubt....The electric infrustucture is in bad shape.. On the gas side of the business not a hell of alot is done out East to improve the availability of Natural gas to it's customers either. National Grid will sell off it's interests in the US and take its cash back to the UK rebuild it's infructuture there.. They don't want to spend a shilling here to upgrade anything.... Think about the economic boost to an all out attempt to make natrural gas available to Long Island customers..Issue Bonds, offer low interest loans for the equipment, get unemployed bank people to work originating and processing the loans..Plumbers hiring and working to install the equipment...equipment and material sales to give manufacturing a boost.. contractors digging and running main...and on and on..everyone says it's private industry that will get us out of the recession heres a perfect opportunity to get so many areas of the workforce back to work and without a goverment {taxpayer} handout...
Cypher November 27, 2012 at 07:46 PM
The voters who voted for the creation of government run and politically staffed LIPA should also Exit ... from Life. These T AR Ds always makes the wrong decisions. And yet, at the next vote, they will miraculously think they can make one correction decision in their stinking lives.
Robert Demarco November 27, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Just like drilling for oil in the Dakotas and building the pipeline. It solves so many problems, provides jobs in many industries, and cuts the cord with the Middle East. It makes so much sense that the Obama administration is against it. The politicians are killing Long Island, and the country as a whole.
Anne Marie November 27, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Ick... poor girl can't cook to save her ass.
Anne Marie November 27, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Seems as if you can trace your lineage all the way back to Nero, my dear.
Arguendo November 27, 2012 at 09:09 PM
LIPA was created by fiat, not by public referendum.
Peter Ticali November 27, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Know what - You're right. National Grid was responsible for fixing the problems, but you and I and all of Long Island have a services contract with LIPA. We didn't choose National Grid, and we have zero voice to set priority or direction for them. That's what LIPA's 101 employees making an average of over $100k each are for. LIPA's outage management failed, their ability to track issues failed and their communications failed. And yes - their service provider failed and they must take responsibility.
Laura November 27, 2012 at 11:11 PM
We have 3 choices. 1. We have LIPA 2. We have The National Grid 3. Newly created company . I do not know the answer. The first 2 are not the my answer. The 3rd problem is no one there to take over. We have a big problem.
majortom1981 November 28, 2012 at 02:37 AM
The problem ;right from the linemens and national grid contracted middle management: is that the lipa heads system could not handle the 16000 linemen and was not designed for a hurricane. Some linemen where standing around BUT it was not there fault. the system couldn't hand so many people out in the field at once.
Robin November 28, 2012 at 07:50 AM
While the management may have not done a great job, the LIPA guys on the ground in LB were great! They were running around the streets trying to get us up and running. Considering the size of the problem, having us up as fast as we were - I think it was incredible!
Jerry King November 28, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I still would like to know why my National grid bill for “GAS DELIVERY COST” is TWICE as much as for the “GAS SUPPLY COST.” Pipeline movement of product is by far the most efficient method. Why the hideous charge for pushing the gas into one end of a pipe is beyond me…other than they CAN.
pbug56 November 29, 2012 at 05:47 AM
I'd love to see their golden parachutes turn out to be made of toilet paper!
RICHRACER November 30, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Where's a real N.Y.S. Comptroller when you need one. That rat is hiding too. Otherwise he would end up like Alan Hevisi, who almost uncovered LIPA's fraud like Enron. See attachment...http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/dec05/121205.htm
RICHRACER November 30, 2012 at 01:56 AM
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/dec05/121205.htm Please COPY and Paste


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »