Lubbock Power & Light is playing defense as the chair of its board responds to the mayors criticisms about an outside investigation into a major project's bidding process, and the employment of LP&L's CEO.
Greg Taylor said EUB members stand by Dr. Gary Zheng because of his expertise. Taylor said the board's more than ready to move past the negative cloud hovering over the utility.
The back-and-forth dialogue started after the two-month long investigation was complied into the report. It found that Zheng gave a request for proposal to a consultant not knowing he was also working for a potential 2013 RFP bidder.
The investigation found no criminal activity, such as bribery or bid-rigging.
Last Thursday, Mayor Glen Robertson told FOX 34, "I felt like it was an incomplete and flawed investigation."
Chairman Taylor said, "That is the mayor's opinion, and so we have to take that into account. Obviously as a board, but we have to do our job as a board managing the events at LP&L." Well the investigation is what it is. It is not an investigation by the police, or anyone else in law enforcement."
"And that board has decided that they are willing to move forward with their CEO, and I disagree with that," Robertson said. "I think it is a poor decision."
Taylor believes that Zheng should not be fired.
"No, I don't believe that, the board feels that he should either, and I believe that mayor would acknowledge that."
Taylor said Zheng is an asset because of his credentials.
"He knows more about our system," he said. "He knows more about the needs of a power generation transmission distribution company then anyone else we have."
Taylor is fairly new to the EUB. He was appointed to the board, then named chair just four months ago.
He said LP&L is doing everything to reduce confusion.
"Our board is concentrating and focused on addressing the most important issues for LP&L as we go forward, and our key employees are focused on that as well, including Dr. Zheng."
The board has scrapped the old RFP for power generation 2019 and is moving the ball forward.
Taylor said consultants will come back and report to the board additional information, such as outside costs and estimates.
He said this process is going to take awhile, but is confident the board will get the job done.