Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

January 4, 2014

Utility leader apologizes for leaving amid outages

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“When you have something going on like this, you don’t kick somebody out and try to make somebody else in charge in the middle of a crisis like this. That doesn’t make any sense either,” Zerkle told MLive.com.

Lansing City Council President Carol Wood was in daily and sometimes hourly phone and email contact with Lark following the storm, but she said Lark didn’t indicate at the time that he was in New York.

“I expect the chief to be where he is supposed to be when there is a crisis,” Wood told the Lansing State Journal. “I expect him to be in town.”

On Dec. 26, Lark told reporters that his own power didn’t come back on until Dec. 24 but he didn’t say he had been in New York. He also didn’t mention his absence at a Monday special meeting of Lansing City Council.

Lansing and East Lansing leaders have said they would investigate the utility’s handling of the outages. The Michigan Public Service Commission could investigate the overall response to outages in the state and might start that process at one of its meetings this month.

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