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October 19, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Latimer renews call for utility resignations: ‘There was failure on the streets of this county’

Westchester County Executive George Latimer reaffirmed his calls today for top brass at Consolidated Edison Inc. and New York State Electric & Gas to step down, saying they had “lost the confidence of consumers.”

“We’re done,” Latimer said in a morning press conference at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. “I want to see change in the corporate boardroom because there was failure on the streets of this county and someone is going to be accountable for it.”

Around 10:35 a.m., the more than 30 elected officials and municipal employees loitering in the small confines of the Westchester County Center’s “Little Theater” were called to the stage. Squeezing onto that small stage was a group that ranged from town and village board members up to county Board of Legislators Chairman Benjamin Boykin and New York Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer addresses the media at a press conference on March 9. Photo by Ryan Deffenbaugh

Latimer said the group came from all political parties and municipal levels.

The press conference came two days after Latimer’s office posted video of a phone call where the county executive angrily told Con Edison officials they would hear “the unified voice of Westchester County.”

That call was posted to the county Facebook page Wednesday as thousands of residents were still without power following a nor’easter storm March 2, with a second nor’easter on its way that same day.

Latimer described Friday’s press conference as a way to push for accountability after what he has described as “dramatic failures” in the two utility companies’ storm response.

“We can’t do this directly, but the power and pressure of Weschester County now comes to bear on the Public Service Commission and those that do have the power to affect corporate board room change,” Latimer said.

Following Wednesday’s storm, which dropped more than a foot of snow in some parts of the county, thousands more lost power. On Friday morning, NYSEG had just under 7,000 customer outages in Westhcester and Con Edison had 13,000, according to numbers the county shared at the press conference.