GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Following Assembly member Tom Abinanti's (D-Greenburgh) call for Consolidated Edison's decertification, the utility company is now being subpoenaed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after its response to Hurricane Sandy, which critics described as poor.
Abinanti sent a letter to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino last week requesting that the county Public Utility Service Agency immediately initiate proceedings before the state's Public Service Commission to decertify Con Edison. Calling Con Edison's response to Sandy a "management fiasco," Abinanti said that throughout the outage crisis, Westchester's residents — which are only 10 percent of Con Edison's customers — were consistently among the 40 to 60 percent that remained without power.
"I think we need to put pressure on both the Public Service Commission to investigate Con Edison, and put pressure on Con Edison to come forward on some discussion with the community," Abinanti said. "We've got to start now. To repeat what the governor said, you act when people remember what just happened."
Abinanti said that as of Thursday, Astorino had not responded to his letter. Calls to Astorino's office by The Daily Voice were unreturned.
Abinanti's frustration echoes at the state level — Schneiderman subpoenaed both Con Edison and the Long Island Power Authority this week seeking plans and performance records on restoring power and communication to customers without power.
Con Edison said it would work with the attorney general on the issue.
"We are cooperating with the attorney general's request," Con Edison said in a statement. "We look forward to reviewing the company's storm preparations and response with the Attorney General and all interested parties."
In a press release last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised New York that the utility company would be held accountable for its poor performance.
"The utilities are paid to provide service and I believe, in this case, they haven't adequately provided that service," Cuomo said on Nov. 5.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has also written a complaint to the Public Service Commission about Con Edison's performance. A meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday at Greenburgh Town Hall to put together a citizens initiative pressing the PSC to direct Con Edison for change.
"I feel horrible that you and your families continue to suffer and promise you that I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that procedures are put in place by the NYS Public Service Commission so that this never happens again," Feiner wrote in an email.