September 10, 2008

City claims that CL&P owes it $606K

Connecticut Light and Power owes the city at least $606,000 for past overbilling of streetlight charges, city officials said.

Ken Johnson, a consultant from Municipal Energy and former GOP mayoral contender, said that his company and city employees have found scores of mistakes that cost the taxpayers big bucks.

In one case, he said, the power company including charges for a streetlight on Get High Way, a non-existent street. Johnson said the name likely described what the utility crew was doing at the time.

Under orders from the state Department of Utility Control, CL&P offered two years ago to pay Bristol $86,839 for billing errors.

Mitch Gross, spokesman for the power company, has said the company had “some shortcomings” in its billing but fixed them after digging deep into its records to bring the issue to a close.

Bristol is one of 50 Connecticut municipalities challenging the state-ordered payment levels. City leaders are meeting Monday with the officials from the attorney general’s office to review their case.

City councilors this week unanimously backed the effort to collect more than $606,000 from the utility after hearing what Johnson reported his firm had found.

“We finally got this thing off the dime,” city Councilor Mike Rimcoski said.

Rimcoski said that given the “poor management” by CL&P over the years, he’s confident the city will collect much more than the $86,839 initially offered even if Bristol winds up with less than it is seeking.

It’s likely to take at least a couple of years to complete the appeal, Johnson said.
Municipal Energy was hired a year and a half ago for $10,000 plus 15 percent of whatever the city earns above $86,000 originally offered by the utility giant.
If the city were to get $$606,000, Johnson’s firm would collect about $87,000 for its services.

Johnson ran for mayor last year, but lost to Democrat Art Ward. His company was hired by the city, which has long been controlled by Democrats, before he entered the race.

Johnson had a rocky relationship with former Mayor William Stortz, but Johnson and city officials said that since Ward took over, there has been a cooperative spirit between the consultant and the city.


Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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Anonymous said...

Because stortz wanted johnson held accountable.

Anonymous said...

I won't hold my breath until we get it. I doubt we will even get half of that.

Anonymous said...

thought that johnson gave up his interest in this company? was it just for political gain?

Anonymous said...

This would have been farther along exept Stortz was being himself and blocking everything.

Stortz....thank god he's gone

Anonymous said...

What did Stortz block?

As a city worker I know that Johnson had access to what ever he asked for.

Execpt city workers doing his work fo him!

Anonymous said...

The longer this goes on the more money Johnson will promise us.

Anonymous said...

Johnson "gave up" his interest, then took it back.

You explain it to me.

I don't think the city ever saw the "other guy".

And which cup is the pea under?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me why we pay Ken Johnson as much as $87k and city employees do the work for him on the City's dime. Aren't we essentially paying him twice. Why doesn't he have his own staff of people instead of city employees doing the work? Oh yeah, because then he wouldn't be ripping the City off as bad.

Anonymous said...

You guys are obviously democrats who are scared of what is coming. Ken honored his end of the contract and will potentially get back a windfall for the cit y. He has essentially taken away one of your biggest claims against him so now you are just blowing smoke. What a bunch of cry babies!

Johnson in 09!

Anonymous said...

Who will be paying for the lawyers?

Which will be an expense even if we don't win.

Johnson is using us: he is no where near as far with his other contracts.

Anonymous said...

Stortz, Kallenbach and all you other idiots......

The Democrats including Ward voted on this contract. Including Buffalo Bill.

Since when do ew give access to our computers to our consultants? and if we do it's a bad practice.

Ward and Johnson squared off in a bitter mayoral contest. BOth parties after the election put thier differances aside and orked together for the betterment of Bristol.

Mayor Ward deserves credit for rising above it.

THis process is going to take a few years as it was esplained in this article.

The city council which has 5 Democrat members is fully informed on the process.

Stop the bull and let the process play out.

Stortz go back into retirement, give the people of bristol a break from your nonesense.

Anonymous said...

Mr 8:00, it's a windfall for the City? No, it's not a's money owed to us that we were ripped off for. How the heck do you see that as a windfall? And I say they owe us interest on the overcharges too! Down with CL&P, lol

Anonymous said...

The consultant did not ne3ed access to the computers, basically all he needed was billing records and dates of installation, amybe a little more.
It was not up to the city to compare the information nor actually check the poles personally.

Much of the work had been done during Coutures administration by Paul. And should not have been a legitimate problem for the consultant.

Do you think we might be getting scammed?

Anonymous said...

ken johnson thinks that all of us voters are stupid, that we will forget his deceitful antics during the last election and that we will be forever grateful that he (on the city's $10,000)finally put something together on this issue - must be time to gear up for the 2009 election.

Anonymous said...

Do we have any record of what Municpal Energy did before and after he "left" the company, and since he came back.

Did they file regular reports?
If not, why not?

Didn't at least one department head disagree with his depiction of teh situation, didn't the lawyers say that M.E. was supposed to do the work according to the contract?

Again, an example of politicians sticking together.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who really thinks that the State Attorney General's office, who has to approve settlements between the City and CL&P, is going to approve anywhere near this amount of money is crazy! CL&P's lobbyists are hard at work at the Capitol to make sure this doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...


They ruled once already: I don't think they will reverse their position.

Ken is a disgruntled former employee and that is showing through.

Anonymous said...

How much is this costing us in staff time and legal fees?

Anonymous said...

Please explain:
If Johnson runs for mayor, will he step down from his company?
For all the contracts, or just Bristol?

Will he use Bristol to leverage other settlements?

We need some answers?

Anonymous said...

I thought Johnson was/is an announced candidate.


Anonymous said...

A Schaffwreck protege.

Anonymous said...


That explains it.

Anonymous said...

how come the secretary of state's office doesn't have any records of Johnson's getting out of his involvement in Municipal Energy, as he said that he did, when he was running for mayor?
They don't have any record of him reinstating himself as COO of Municipal Energy either....

Anonymous said...

Again, the city was had.

And didn't take the time to follow up.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any answers to 9-10 10:51 questions.


Anonymous said...

Interesting article in the Courant:
Atty. Genl. "thinking" about getting involved, only two of Kennys 50 towns were mentioned , and our Atty. was there.

How much are our legal fees and where is this money coming from?

Anonymous said...

Todays Courant reported that DPUC signed off on this some time ago and agreed with the methodology.

What is this Johnson guy trying to pull?