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New York (AFP) Nov 14, 2012
The chief of a New York utility that came under withering fire from customers and the state governor for its slow restoration of power following superstorm Sandy is resigning.
Mike Hervey "tendered his resignation as chief operating officer of the Long Island Power Authority, to be effective at the end of the year," company chairman Howard Steinberg said in a statement late Tuesday.
Hervey had been with LIPA for 12 years and had been performing the functions of CEO for the last two.
Almost all of suburban Long Island, where LIPA is the main utility, lost power when hurricane-strength Sandy touched down on October 29, as did much of New York City and New Jersey, where other utilities are in the lead.
As of Wednesday, the company said it had restored power to 1.1 million homes and businesses, but that 7,720 remained in the dark, including locations where it was not yet safe to make repairs.
One of the areas still left without power, amid rapidly falling autumn temperatures, was New York City's Rockaway Peninsula.
Hervey and LIPA became the target of frequent attacks by frustrated New Yorkers, led by Governor Andrew Cuomo in numerous live press conferences.
But Ross Gould, at the Environmental Advocates of New York lobbying group, said LIPA had bigger issues than Hervey.
"The resignation of Mike Hervey should, in no way, be seen as the silver bullet that will fix the deep problems within the Long Island Power Authority's operations, and the gaping lack of leadership within its ranks," Gould said.
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