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Moreland Commission's first public hearing postponed


By Colleen Siuzdak
Staff writer

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Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, above right, will investigate utility companies’ preparation and response with a subcommittee in the Moreland Commission, where Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky, above left, serves as a co-chair. The governor announced the meetings of the Moreland Commission will be held in public.
November 26, 2012
The newly created Moreland Commission has postponed its first scheduled public meeting, originally scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, without explanation. A statement from the state's Department of Financial Services issued the following statement Thursday evening: "The Moreland Commission's public hearing scheduled for Friday November 30th has been postponed. Notice of a new time and location for this hearing will be released in the near future."

The Moreland Commission, a seldom-used power of the governor that carries with it the power to subpoena winesses, was created two weeks ago to gather information about the performance of energy utilities before and after Superstorm Sandy.

"Our task is to investigate and determine what went wrong, to provide recommendations that will strengthen the state's ability to protect the public, both through regulation and enforcement, and, where necessary, to hold corporations or individuals accountable," said former Attorney General Robert Abrams, co-chair of the commission.

The commission's organizational meeting, conducted in private, resulted in the formation of two subcommittees as well as a tentative work schedule. One committee led by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice "will investigate preparation and response" and the other "will focus on a strategic review of utilities and regulatory structures," led by Peter Bradford, former chairman of the Public Service Commission and a professor at Vermont Law School.

"Our mandate from the governor is to carry out a smart, aggressive and fair investigation that will proceed rapidly. Most importantly, the investigation will put the needs of New York consumers first," said Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky, co-chair of the commission.

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Abrams and Lawsky also announced that Regina Calcaterra, chief deputy to Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, will serve as the new executive director of the Moreland Commission.

"Ms. Calcaterra is not only an excellent chief deputy, but she also provided essential public service in the days during and after storm Sandy," said Bellone. "She is an outstanding selection as executive director of the Moreland Commission because she has experienced just how devastating the storm was in Suffolk and dealt directly with the recovery issues."

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