Turn to Tara: Utilities racked up complaints for months before storms

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WHITE PLAINS -

Tens of thousands of Hudson Valley homeowners went without power for up to a week after a pair of nor'easters blasted the region, prompting heated criticisms from customers and politicians.

But as Westchester County Executive George Latimer called for the chief executives of Con Edison and NYSEG to step down Friday, a Turn to Tara investigation found that complaints against Con Ed stretched back well before the storm.

According to records, Con Ed had by far the most complaints filed against it in January out of any major utility company in New York state. Three hundred sixty-five people filed written complaints were sent to the state's Department of Public Service that month -- 236 more than the second-worst company, Upstate Grid.

NYSEG was the third-worst with 94.

The data also shows that Con Ed had the highest number of escalated complaints in the state in January -- complaints that were so serious they prompted the state to step in and investigate.

In response, the Department of Public Service said it would launch a full review into all power failures that began after Friday's storm -- the first of two within a week.

"I think heads need to roll," said state Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, who co-signed a letter demanding a public hearing on the matter.

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