Zheng Neither Fired Nor Put Back to Work by LP&L

Published 06/17 2014 06:36PM

Updated 06/17 2014 06:45PM

Gary Zheng, Director and CEO of LP&L
Gary Zheng, Director and CEO of LP&L
LUBBOCK, TX -- The City of Lubbock’s Electric Utility Board voted to extend the paid leave of Lubbock Power & Light Director Gary Zheng until an out-of-court settlement is reached or 30 days, whichever is less.

Zheng has been on paid leave since May 20. In October Zheng was accused of mishandling bids on a major power supply project. An internal investigation cleared Zheng of any legal wrongdoing but the bids were rejected because Zheng accepted information from someone associated with one of the bidders.

More recently EverythingLubbock.com was the first to report that Zheng was accused of leaking confidential information to another utility company and changing plans on a transmission loop without getting EUB approval.

The second round of allegations prompted the EUB to put Zheng on leave. Zheng had a severance agreement from May of 2012 that if he is fired for “other than cause” LP&L must pay him two years of salary and benefits. The estimated value of that severance is less than $700,000. But LP&L is reluctant to pay it until there is also an out-of-court settlement to go with it.

At least one board member, Clayton Isom, has led the way in saying LP&L should pay the severance and try to part ways amicably.

“This needs to end amicably for everyone involved,” Isom said the day before the EUB meeting.

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