Nearly a quarter of Long Island Power Authority employees in the last decade had connections to politically powerful people on the Island and in New York State before working at the utility, a Newsday investigation has found.
They include a former congressman’s wife, the daughter of a former district attorney, a judge’s son, a one-time county legislator, the wife of a former mayor, and several political party loyalists.
LIPA’s politically connected have been paid better than colleagues without such ties, more frequently earning upward of $100,000 annually, Newsday found. Some left one government job for LIPA, stayed a few years, then got another public post — keeping them in the state pension system.
In an extensive review of records and data and dozens of interviews with political insiders, Newsday examined the professional history, campaign contributions and family ties of each of the public authority’s 174 employees since 2003 with reported earnings to the state pension system. At least 41 had clear ties to political power.
Employees with connections had average compensation in their first full year of service of almost $141,000, considerably more than the average $95,000 paid to those without political ties.
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