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Sandy panel: Privatize LIPA

Moreland Commission member Kathleen Rice questions LIPA and

Moreland Commission member Kathleen Rice questions LIPA and National Grid officials at a hearing at the Touro Law Center in Central Islip on Dec. 20, 2012. (Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas)

 The Long Island Power Authority should be shuttered and replaced with a private company after a disastrous performance in response to superstorm Sandy, a powerful oversight panel recommended Monday.

The Moreland Commission, empaneled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to review utilities performance, said LIPA had a “fundamental dysfunctional management structure" that heavily hampered its ability to restore power quickly and led to poor communication with the public.

 The best resolution, the panel concluded, was to scrap LIPA.

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“It’s highly questionable whether LIPA customers will ever regain confidence in LIPA,” said Benjamin Lawsky, panel co-chairman and head of the state Department of Financial Services.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who also serves on the panel, said LIPA is "a mess" and "is accountable to no one." She said the state needed to "move quickly and effectively" to overhaul it.



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