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LIPA chief operating officer to step down

A pedestrian walks along a darkened Rockaway Beach Boulevard as the peninsula remained without power.
TimesLedger Newspapers

With most of the Rockaways still in the dark and the Long Island Power Authority facing an onslaught of criticism for its handling of Superstorm Sandy, the utility has announced its chief operating officer would step down at the end of the year.

Michael Hervey, who worked at LIPA for the last 12 years, tendered his resignation Tuesday, effective at the end of the year.

“Mike has played a leadership role in connection with the planned structural changes at LIPA going forward which will result in better service and accountability to LIPA’s customers in the years ahead,” LIPA Chairman Howard Steinberg said in a statement.

LIPA supplies power to the Rockaways, while Con Edison serves other parts of Queens.

In addition to serving as the chief operating officer, Hervey has acted as the chief executive officer since 2010 when the former CEO stepped down.

The appointment of a new CEO falls on the shoulders of LIPA’s board of trustees. Steinberg, who was first appointed by Gov. George Pataki in 1999, has been the acting chairman since his term expired in August 2011.

Since taking office in January 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not appointed a LIPA chairman, but Tuesday he signed an executive order creating a commission to investigate the utility companies’ preparation and response to Sandy and previous storms.

“From Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee to Hurricane Sandy over the past two years New York has experienced some of the worst natural disasters in our state’s history,” Cuomo said. “As we adjust to the reality of more frequent major weather incidents, we must study and learn from these past experiences to prepare for the future.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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