Former Attorney General Robert Abrams and Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, the co-chairs of the Moreland Commission on storm preparation and response, today, after the first organizational meeting of the Commission, announced the appointment of their executive director and plans for public meetings in affected areas throughout the region.
Former Attorney General Abrams said, “Our task is to investigate and determine what went wrong, to provide recommendations that will strengthen the State’s ability to protect the public, both through regulation and enforcement, and, where necessary, to hold corporations or individuals accountable.”
Superintendent Lawsky said, “Our mandate from the Governor is to carry out a smart, aggressive, and fair investigation that will proceed rapidly. Most importantly, the investigation will put the needs of New York consumers first.”
At the Commission’s first meeting earlier today, the Commission set up a work schedule and formed two subcommittees. One will investigate preparation and response and will be led by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. The other will focus on a strategic review of utilities and regulatory structures and will be led by Peter Bradford, former Chair of the Public Service Commission and a professor at Vermont Law School.
The Commission will hold its next meeting, which will be open to the public, on November 30th, at a location to be announced.
In addition, the Commission is currently planning to hold multiple regional public hearings in areas heavily affected by the storms. The purpose of the hearings will be to gather information from the public, local officials and emergency responders about what happened before and after the storms in regards to utilities. Dates and locations will be announced soon.
Regina Calcaterra, Chief Deputy to Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, has been appointed Executive Director of the Commission. Ms. Calcaterra is the first woman to serve in the number two position in Suffolk County, where she administers the day to day operations of more than 9,500 employees and oversees a $2.7 billion budget. After Storm Sandy, County Executive Steven Bellone assigned her to focus on storm response and recovery efforts. She is taking a temporary leave from that position to serve with the Moreland Commission. Previously, she served as the managing partner of the New York office of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine where she was on a team that conducted highly complex and successful corporate fraud investigations against WorldCom, AIG and Merrill Lynch. She has also held other private and public sector positions. Ms. Calcaterra has a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and is admitted to the New York State Bar and the US Federal District Courts Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
County Executive Bellone said, “Ms. Calcaterra is not only an excellent Chief Deputy, but she also provided essential public service in the days during and after Storm Sandy. She is an outstanding selection as Executive Director of the Moreland Commission because she has experienced just how devastating the storm was in Suffolk and dealt directly with the recovery issues.”
The members of the Commission are:
Co-Chair Robert Abrams, former Attorney General of New York State
Co-Chair Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services
Peter Bradford, former Chair of the Public Service Commission
Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University
John Dyson, former Chairman of the New York Power Authority
Rev. Floyd Flake, Senior Pastor of Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral
Mark Green, former New York City Public Advocate
Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive
Kathleen Rice, Nassau County District Attorney
Dan Tishman, Vice Chairman at AECOM Technology Corporation, and Chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction Corporation
The executive order creating the Commission can be found at http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/11132012Section6