Comptroller questions spending at NY power authority

August 8, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York official says a public utility that's supposed to provide low-cost electricity for residents is spending money on planes, pilots and six-figure salaries.

New Yorkers pay some of the highest electric rates in the country. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the New York Power Authority could provide more rate relief "if it appropriately focused its resources."

The comptroller's report released Thursday says the authority owns a plane, employs both pilots and travel agents and pays one-third of its employees more than $100,000 a year. It offers employees access to the state retirement system and spends $2.4 million on 401(k) matching funds. It also provides free health and life insurance benefits to some retirees.

The public utility is primarily an electricity generator.

The utility says the comptroller's office misinterpreted key facts. The one plane is a small one used to monitor power plants and facilities and the salaries are comparable to what other public utilities pay.

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