Entergy is silent on his secret committee of paid citizen advisers

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Entergy New Orleans has a secret she’s kept from her clients and New Orleans City Council – that she pays a bunch of citizens for their contribution. But specific details about the committee, including their role, how much they are paid, and exactly who is selected for that committee, remain a secret.

New Orleans District A city councilor Joe Giarrusso said he had heard of the committee but had not received any details either.

“I’ve heard of it before, I didn’t even know it all these years before I was elected. I think the first time I found out about that was right after, ”said Giarrusso. “Apparently it’s a bunch of people who are on this advisory board who are members of the public who I guess get some sort of payment from Entergy, I think, and are invited to go represent them.”

Giarrusso asked the public service for more information about the committee and asked the city council’s public service advisers to investigate.

“I think it’s important to know and they [the advisors] said in the past, they’ve asked Entergy for the list, ”Giarrusso said. “It wasn’t an argument, but it’s kind of a ‘we’ll get that to you later’ and it didn’t happen. And my point now is that we’re going to have some new advice. which we need to get the list so that we know who these people are.So there can be no doubt.

(WVUE FOX 8)

FOX 8 also requested the names of the members of the advisory board, the annual compensation paid to the members and their duties. A spokesperson for Entergy said she would review our request and get back to us, but she never did and never responded to our follow-up emails. FOX 8’s Lee Zurik started asking questions about this committee four years ago, but at the time Entergy gave a vague answer to our questions, saying: “Like many businesses, Entergy New Orleans seeks input from local leaders for diverse perspectives on the issues facing our growing city. This collaboration is valuable because we work to best meet the needs of our customers, today and in the future. The costs incurred by Entergy New Orleans are reviewed and monitored by our regulator, the New Orleans City Council, on a periodic basis.

New Orleans City Council has not reviewed or verified anything about the advisory group, and Giarrusso said he’s not sure taxpayer dollars are funding the advisory positions.

The news of the committee comes as a shock to taxpayers like Katherine Prevost, leader of a neighborhood association and critic of Entergy. She just received a bill for $ 4,000 from Entergy for an estimated meter reading. Prevost said the usage estimate is nowhere near what it actually used.

“[It is] shocking, is really shocking, I am amazed, ”said Prevost when told about the committee.

Zurik: Was maintenance sacrificed in Entergy’s record profit year?

Prévost believes Entergy should open his books and reveal the members of this committee and how they are paid.

“I think it’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard,” she said. “Are you going to take money from us to pay them to consult you?” I can’t even quite understand why someone would even want to do this.

FOX 8 has confirmed two New Orleans who have been part of the group, former city council member Eddie Sapir and businessman Joe Jaeger. It is not known whether Sapir or Jaeger are still on the advisory group.

Giarrusso is also concerned about the lack of disclosure of group members as it is not clear whether anyone is lobbying on behalf of Entergy without disclosing it.

“If you don’t know what role someone is playing, that certainly makes things different, and obviously there was a difference in my mind between someone approaching me as a paid representative, as someone. one who is just a chef de quartier and this problem is something I want to deal with, ”said Giarrusso.

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