Officials question LIPA's spending during Hurricane Earl

Officials say they have new questions about the millions of dollars LIPA spent on a hurricane that never hit Long Island.Last summer, LIPA prepared for

WOODBURY - Officials say they have new questions about the millions of dollars LIPA spent on a hurricane that never hit Long Island.

Last summer, LIPA prepared for Hurricane Earl by hiring a couple of thousand linemen from out of state. The hurricane spared Long Island, leaving in its wake a controversy over a $34 million bill.

Energy expert Mathew Cordaro says there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in overcharges and money misspent by National Grid. For example, he says luxury buses were used to shuttle crews to and from their hotels to the tune of $160,000. LIPA has uncovered some of the same alleged problems in its own audit.

"We are very disappointed in National Grid that they passed on these charges to us," says LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey.

Hervey says his staff has examined about two-thirds of the Earl bill and so far found $5.5 million in questionable expenditures. He says the power authority will dispute those charges with National Grid.

In light of these alleged overcharges, Cordaro says LIPA needs more state oversight so ratepayers don't end up footing the bills for possible mistakes.

LIPA plans to double storm reserve fund to $50MLIPA to be investigated after spending $30M on Earl prep

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