Email Shows FBI Looking Into LP&L Invoices With Consulting Company

Published 05/14 2014 09:35PM

Updated 05/15 2014 08:52AM

By James Clark

LUBBOCK, TX -- Once again there is talk of an FBI investigation concerning Lubbock Power & Light and once again it is related to tainted bids for a major power supply project in late 2013.

On Sunday was first to report on possible concerns with E3 Consulting. E3 is related to Alpine Energy Group, and according to Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson AEG is the company that gave information to LP&L Director Gary Zheng in such a way as to taint the 2013 bids.

Robertson said on Sunday, “They [E3 Consulting] invoiced LP&L $130,000. Then they said ‘just roll it into the bill when we get the bid.’”

On Monday LP&L’s Chief Financial Officer Andy Burcham wrote an email to the City Manager, James Loomis and the Electric Utility Board Chairman Greg Taylor. The email was released on Tuesday after an open records request.

It said, “Greg and James, I wanted to let you know that I did meet with the Federal Bureau of Investigation at their Lubbock Office on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. until shortly after noon to discuss the past due invoices and related information with E3 Consulting, LLC.”

As a matter of protocol the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an ongoing investigation.

When asked about a possible FBI investigation Wednesday afternoon, EUB Chairman Greg Taylor said, “I really can’t comment on that. There is an internal investigation going on concerning that. We will be briefed on that in a future meeting.”

News of the FBI email came on the same day that the EUB considered firing LP&L Director Gary Zheng. Zheng kept his job on a 6 – 3 vote.

* Correction: Taylor spoke Wednesday, not Thursday.

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