Outrage over Con Edison bonuses for executives

It is an outrage that Con Edison would choose to give out over $600,000 to top executives at Con Ed for their work in the response to Super Storm Sandy. While the executives clearly were challenged with the sudden and unexpected devastation of the super storm, there were thousands of people on the ground who worked through difficult and dangerous circumstances to bring relieve to the millions of Con Ed customers effected by Sandy.

In this day and in these struggles, these executives get paid to do a job. And because a crisis occurs, doesn’t mean they get paid extra. If anyone is to get paid extra, it should be the men and women who were and in some cases still are in the trenches, deep water and debris. I call for each and every one who got these bonuses, to return them in good faith for everyone who relies on Con Edison to do their job.

Four top executives at Con Ed split $614,000 as revealed in Con Ed proxy statement to shareholders. CEO Kevin Burke received $315,400 bringing his annual salary to $1.53 million dollars. Craig Ivey, president of the Con Ed subsidiary that provides gas and power to New York and Westchester, got a $146,100 bonus, bringing his pay to $830,183. Chief Financial Officer Robert Hoglund received a $82,900 bonus that raised his pay to $721,300, and the general counsel for the utility, Elizabeth Moore, got a $70,000 bonus that raised her pay to $609,142.

All four also received millions more in stock and pension benefits. “Our executive compensation is in line with that of similar-sized utilities and is intended to help attract and retain key executives,” Con Ed said in a statement.

These financial rewards for executives are awarded even after many residents and government officials complained of how poorly Con Ed responded to the emergency, with over 950,000 homes without power immediately following the storm. Criticism came from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that the utilities involved were unprepared and badly managed. That has not stopped Con Ed from preparing to ask for another increase in rates. If Con Ed has a need for more money, the Councilmember says “don’t take it off of the backs of residents, stop giving out irresponsible bonuses!”

Andy King is Council Member for District 12

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