The FBI is now reviewing records concerning Lubbock Power and Light, and the utility's plan to power Lubbock in the future. This does not mean there is an investigation, but we know that LP&L'S Chief Financial Officer took concerns he had about past due invoices submitted to LP&L to the FBI.
In an email we've obtained through an open records request, LP&L CFO Andy Burcham tells officials he met with the FBI on Monday. The email is addressed to Electric Utility Board Chairman Greg Taylor and City Manager James Loomis. It was also sent to LP&L CEO Gary Zheng.
The email is brief, saying Burcham met with the FBI at their Lubbock office for a little more than an hour and a half. Burcham says they discussed past due invoices and related information with "E3 Consulting".
Now, that's significant, because E3 Consulting is an affiliate of Alpine Energy Group, or AEG. You may remember, AEG was one of five companies applying to build a new power plant in Lubbock.
AEG is also the company that Zheng and the LP&L staff was prepared to recommend as the winning bidder of the 2013 Request For Proposal (RFP) process, which was later discarded by a vote of the present board.
Sources tell us that E3 Consulting previously waived payment of approximately $130,000 in invoices believing its affiliate, AEG, would be chosen as the winning bidder. After the EUB threw out the original bids, E3 Consulting presented the invoices for payment.
Electric Utility Board Chairman Greg Taylor refused to comment on the issue, saying, "I really can't comment on that. there is an internal investigation going on concerning that and we will be briefed on that in a future meeting."
This all came before this afternoon's EUB meeting where the vote to terminate Gary Zheng as CEO and Director of Electric Utilities failed 6 to 3.
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