Mangano asks military to manage LIPA

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is calling on

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is calling on the U.S. military to take over the "managerial structure" of LIPA during the restoration. (May 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is calling on the U.S. military and the Department of Energy to take over the "managerial structure" of LIPA during the restoration of power from superstorm Sandy.

Mangano told Newsday he wants the federal government, including the Defense Department, to be tasked with directing the flow of information to the public and directing crews to neighborhoods that need power restored.

As of shortly before 7 p.m., 142,000 LIPA customers in Nassau County were without power, 11 days after Sandy battered Long Island.

Neither Cuomo's office nor Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's office returned calls for comment on Mangano's request.

Mangano said he has no jurisdiction to call on LIPA leadership to resign, but that it is within his power to request that the military essentially take over LIPA operations.

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"We need a military-style flow of information," said Mangano. "This needs to be an orderly situation."

Mangano said he is awaiting a response to his request from the Defense Department.

Deputy County Executive Rob Walker said Nassau made its request for federal intervention through FEMA.

"We need critical leadership and information flow," Walker said.

A LIPA spokesman did not return multiple requests for comment.

Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Crosson said he was unaware of Mangano's request. Crosson said he is unaware of any other time when the military had been asked to take over a public utility.

In March, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Resources Preparedness Order, which granted the White House control of domestic energy sources during times of national emergencies. It is unclear if that executive order would apply to the effort to restore to Long Island homes.

Walker said a press conference is planned for Friday to elaborate on Nassau's request. Among those expected to attend are Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Lawrence Mayor Martin Oliner, Walker said.

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