Internal Investigation Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing At LP&L

A Lubbock Power & Light internal investigation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and no evidence of a crime.
LUBBOCK, TX -- A Lubbock Power & Light internal investigation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and no evidence of a crime. The Electric Utility Board (LP&L Board) reviewed the results of the investigation at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Late last year LP&L Director Gary Zheng had been accused of mishandling the bids on a major power supply contract. During multiple meetings since then, the board had agenda items to possibly reassign or even fire Zheng. In each instance the board took no action against Zheng.

The investigation looked through boxes of material and paperwork, looking at all the allegations. LP&L staff members were found to not a part of criminal activity or any evidence of personal gain.

"The most important thing is there's a lot of allegations flying around that members of Lubbock Power and Light had done something wrong, that they had done criminal acts, or they had done acts of self dealing," Johnny Sutton, an attorney investigating the claims said. "It was very clear to us, by the evidence, the documents we reviewed, and the people we talked to that there was no evidence of any criminal behavior on part of LP&L staff, that there was no evidence that anyone was bid rigging, or self dealing in this situation, and that LP&L staff had run a professional process and made every attempt to try to keep information from becoming public."

The other major point that came out of the investigation is that the information about bids that was leaked did not come from any members of the LP&L staff.

"It was important to get that report today, so that we could answer the things that have been raised in the past," Chair of the Board, Greg Taylor said.

"The opinion of our independent investigator is there's no criminal activity there, want to ensure the citizens of Lubbock that we're doing the best we can as LP&L to keep the lights on," Taylor said.

According to Taylor, the board will still have to meet to determine if the bids are in good standing or if they need to start over again. "We have a lot of work to do. We've got to move forward in assessing what we're going to do for 2019, and we've got a lot of fresh eyes on the project, we've got to get through this and get going," Taylor said.

Taylor said the board will be working with the Lubbock City Council when looking at future power.

He expects the board to continue their work on that in the coming weeks.

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