Penn. Examines Utility Accountability for Contractors

Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 1996
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Penn. Examines

Utility Accountability

for Contractors

Pennsylvania State Senator Albert V. "Bud" Belan (D-West Mifflin) has disagreed with the findings of an internal investigative report by former state Attorney General Walter Cohen that exonerated Peoples Natural Gas Co. (PNG) from any responsibility for the alleged attack and rape of a utility customer by a private contractor hired to read gas meters.

As Belan points out, PNG requested and received an informal opinion from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's law bureau in 1995, which defined "utility company personnel" to include private contractors who operate under the utilities' direct supervision and control, are appropriately trained, and carry proper identification. Further, the law bureau ruled that the utility would be answerable to the PUC for contractors' conduct.

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