Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics


New LIPA boss hands out cash -- his own

They may not qualify as cushy management bonuses, but new Long Island Power Authority boss John McMahon recently handed out $50 bills at a staff meeting to boost morale.

The former Con Ed executive, according to sources, took a wad of cash out of his pocket and began giving each staffer a $50 bill suggesting they go to dinner on him.

McMahon’s gesture came as the embattled public utility has been under fire for its storm response and faces the prospect of being largely dismantled under plans laid out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Mark Gross, a LIPA spokesman, did not respond to questions about details, and acknowledged McMahon’s payments but said he was using “his own personal money.”

McMahon, a lawyer, makes $275,000 a year as LIPA’s chief operating officer. He most recenly had worked as chief executive of Orange and Rockland Utilities, a subsidiary of ConEd where he worked for 37 yerars. In 2010, the year before he retired from Con Ed, McMahon’s total compensation was $5.2 million.

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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Hollywood actor and director Danny Glover urging New York City to keep horse carriages. Actress Edie Falco making a TV ad to abolish horse carriages. Ex-Sony exec Mitch Singer, last week: “Why do so many believe that this is Sony’s war to fight?"

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