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Another LIPA Executive, Trustee Announce Resignations

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Another top Long Island Power Authority executive and a trustee announced their resignations Monday night in the wake of the company’s widely-criticized performance in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, although neither said Sandy had anything to do with his decision.

Bruce Germano, the vice president of customer service for the utility, is resigning at the end of the year, LIPA said in an official statement.

“My decision to leave is purely a personal decision,” Germano said in the statement. “My time at LIPA included many exciting and rewarding experiences. I truly enjoyed working with the skilled, hard working and dedicated staff throughout my time here. I look forward to pursuing other interests and most importantly spending time with my family.”

Also leaving is X. Cristofer Damianos, a trustee who was appointed to the LIPA board by then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007. Newsday reported Damianos has resigned several months ahead of the scheduled expiration of his term on Aug. 31 of next year, for what he said was to “focus on his business.”

LIPA Operations Chief Michael Hervey also resigned earlier this month, but he insisted it had nothing to do with the criticism following the storm.

Meanwhile, Newsday also reported Monday that LIPA has unveiled plans to “soften the blow,” after issuing electric bills that did not deduct for days during which customers were without power after Superstorm Sandy.

The plans include customer meter readings, suspension of late payments, unpenalized partial payments, and relaxed efforts for collections, according to Newsday.

They followed complaints by customers that their estimated bills did not deduct for several days they were left without power, Newsday reported.

But LIPA has not addressed all the issues brought forth by customers, including a fixed daily service charge of 36 cents that did not account for the time that power was out.

LIPA has been the subject of harsh criticism from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on down following the power troubles suffered by many Long Island residents in the wake of the hurricane. Tens of thousands of customers were left in the dark for more than two weeks.

Cuomo said last week that he wanted to see LIPA eliminated. He said the power company “has to end” because it “hasn’t worked in a long, long time.”

Cuomo has formed a commission to investigate the responses of utilities following the hurricane. The governor said he expects a “full report in a matter of weeks.”

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)