CEO of LIPA Kevin Law (April 15, 2010)

CEO of LIPA Kevin Law (April 15, 2010) Credit: Uli Seit

Long Island Power Authority chief Kevin Law has expressed outrage following accusations that a National Grid employee bought for personal use more than $15,000 in equipment which he billed to LIPA through National Grid.

The employee was fired a month ago, but LIPA's top brass wasn't informed of the matter until notified by Newsday last week.

"I am outraged and call for a complete internal investigation by National Grid and a referral of the matter to Suffolk County Law Enforcement," Law said in a statement Thursday. Law said a Newsday e-mail about the theft was the first he'd heard about it.

A National Grid spokeswoman declined to comment, but people close to the matter said the incident is expected to be referred to authorities soon. Calls to the employee were not returned.

LIPA officials were assured that an internal investigation was under way and that LIPA had been fully reimbursed, a LIPA official said.

LIPA also said the employee, who has not been formally charged by local authorities, held a foreman's post and was dismissed about a month ago after the charges were discovered by National Grid.

The employee implicated in the scheme worked at National Grid's power plant in Port Jefferson, officials and sources confirmed.

A National Grid employee who asked not to be named said the equipment discovered at the foreman's home included light industrial tools such as welding machines - items that weren't needed for his job of plant operations.

A second employee who supervised the foreman but was not involved in the theft also is said to have been fired, and an internal restructuring was said to be under way Friday, according to people familiar with the matter.

LIPA spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter said the authority awaited the results of the National Grid internal probe.

"We will reserve the right to audit their findings to ensure that LIPA customers are made whole," Baird-Streeter said.

The power plant in Port Jefferson is one of 17 owned by British-based National Grid.

The company's Long Island power plants are expected to be put up for sale in coming months after LIPA and the New York Power Authority initially declined offers to purchase them.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

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