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Moreland Commission subpoenas LIPA, Con Ed

Governor Andrew Cuomo in Long Beach. (Nov. 10,

Governor Andrew Cuomo in Long Beach. (Nov. 10, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

ALBANY -- A state investigative panel issued subpoenas Wednesday to the Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison, seeking information about their preparation, response and recovery efforts during superstorm Sandy, a knowledgeable source said.

The Moreland Commission, empaneled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo two weeks ago, delivered one subpoena to each utility late in the afternoon.

The commission is charged with investigating how LIPA and other utilities have handled major storms in the past two years, including Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene. It is tasked with making recommendations "to reform the overlapping responsibilities of" the utilities.

Cuomo's commission becomes the second to subpoena LIPA and Con Ed, coming two weeks after state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did. He wants to determine whether the companies lived up to legal obligations to provide a safe supply of power in a reliable manner.

"We will cooperate with the Moreland Commission's request and look forward to discussing the company's storm preparations and response with . . . all interested parties," Con Ed spokesman Alfonso Quiroz said in an email.

LIPA spokeswoman Elizabeth Flagler declined to comment.

Cuomo controls most appointments to the LIPA board, although he has not filled several vacancies during his two years as governor. Though LIPA manages the Island's electrical system, National Grid operates it. That company hasn't been subpoenaed.

Cuomo's 10-member Moreland Commission is chaired by former state Attorney General Robert Abrams and Benjamin Lawsky, a top Cuomo lieutenant who heads the state Department of Financial Services. Regina Calcaterra, the Suffolk deputy county executive, serves as the executive director. When Cuomo created the commission, he said, "Serious questions have been raised about the adequacy of utility management, structures, resources, the current regulatory framework and oversight."

Also Wednesday, Cuomo announced appointments to three commissions that he's tasked with determining recommendations on how New York can improve its storm readiness and response.

Among other appointments, the governor tapped Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Felix G. Rohatyn, former chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation, to lead the panel looking at infrastructure.

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