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Ex-FEMA Chief's Firm to Review Power Companies' Performance

Gov. Malloy says Witt Associates will file its report by Dec. 1.

A consulting firm led by the former director of FEMA will be conducting a review of power companies and their heavily criticized response to the recent winter storm.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made the announcement during a 6 p.m. press conference to update residents on the recovery efforts from a storm that at its peak left nearly one million customers without power. It has now been almost a week since the storm hit and about 300,000 CL&P customers are still without power. Tens of thousands of United Illuminating Company customers were also without power following the storm, but UI has gotten its customers back up.

The consulting firm, Witt Associates, is led by former Clinton Administration FEMA Director James Lee Witt. The firm focuses on public safety and crisis management from mitigation to preparedness, response and recovery. Witt, the firm's chief operating officer, is conducting this review pro bono.

“As soon as everyone’s lights are back on, we need to have a very timely, thorough review of the power companies’ performances, to identify what went wrong, why it went wrong, and most importantly, identify solutions for the short-term before the next winter storm impacts Connecticut,” Malloy said. “Witt Associates has a body of experience that is second to none.  James and his colleagues have worked on the state and federal level and they understand how critical it is to conduct this review quickly and thoroughly. I appreciate his offer to help us.”

Witt has more than 25 years of disaster-management experience. He was appointed in 1993 to be the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he served until 2001. As FEMA Director, Witt coordinated federal disaster relief on behalf of President Clinton, including the response and recovery activities of 28 federal agencies and departments, the American Red Cross, and other voluntary agencies.

He also oversaw the National Flood Insurance Program, the U.S. Fire Administration, and other proactive mitigation activities that reduce loss of life and property from all types of hazards. Prior to his time at FEMA, Witt led the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services (OES), a position he held for four years.

Witt Associates is expected to complete its review by Dec. 1.

Gene Bartholomew November 05, 2011 at 02:11 PM
This could be a good thing, he has more experience and more of a proven track record than say a W appointee. For instance, Witt He founded a construction business in 1968. At 34, he was elected County Judge of Yell County. Witt was re-elected to the post six times and was recognized by the National Association of Counties for his work. Witt was a charter Board Chairman of Child Development Inc., which works to advance Head Start programs. In 1988, Witt was appointed by then-Governor Bill Clinton to be the head of the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services where he reorganized the state's emergency management process. When Clinton was elected President, he appointed Witt to head FEMA, for which Witt was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1993. In 1996, he was given cabinet rank.[1] During his tenure, Clinton elevated FEMA to cabinet status, and Witt overturned FEMA's previously poor reputation. W's appointees had absolutley no experience, they were merely campain brown-noser workers. Joe Allbaugh and Michael Brown had fake resume's and previously only had experience at being Republican campain workers, which became apparent after 9/11 under Allbaugh and after Katrina under Brown (Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job, a duh). http://whowhatwhy.com/2006/06/14/unholy-trinity-katrina-allbaugh-and-brown/
William Brighenti, CPA November 06, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Disappointed in the CL&P’s power restoration efforts to storms Irene and Alfred? Then sign the petition located below to have Governor Malloy impose restoration power standards like Massachusetts has, subjecting violations to penalties: http://www.cpa-connecticut.com/blog/?p=4497
Gene Bartholomew November 07, 2011 at 01:21 PM
Done. Thanks for posting that, you should make it a seperate article on all Patches My fear is that "we" will continue to be idiots and bow to a scam to increase rates, which I believe NU is setting the stage for. People listen very carefully. We already pay the highest electric rates in the nation, off a grid that charges much less to other states for the same power made by the same equipment. This increase in revenue was made possible by De-Regulation, which was a scam to raise our rates bought to you by the people at ENRON and other power brokers while the wined and dined our politicians, hopefully you saw the Jack Abromoff piece on 60Minutes last night and learned something. I saw an editorial in the Courant yesterday and the guy was brilliant, attacking NU about their performance and what should be done up to the last sentence where he moronically stated: " I would even accept a modest rate increase to pay for it" the idiot, what a sucker

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