BWL's Peter Lark Left Town During Ice Storm Power Outage - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

BWL's Peter Lark Left Town During Ice Storm Power Outage

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Peter Lark speaking at a Lansing city council meeting on Dec. 30 Peter Lark speaking at a Lansing city council meeting on Dec. 30
Courtesy Susan St John Lark's Facebook page Courtesy Susan St John Lark's Facebook page

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The general manager to the Lansing Board of Water and Light left town on Christmas Eve to fly to New York to be with family while thousands were still in the dark.

Lark later said he believes he made "the wrong decision at the wrong time." He also said he "humbly acknowledges this."

Lark goes on to say that being with his family for the holidays was extremely important to him and that he remained in constant contact with crews back in Lansing working on the outages.

At a press conference Thursday, Lark said that Sandy Zerkle, a board member with BWL, knew he was leaving and that the trip had been pre-planned.

"There is no question I should have stayed in Lansing to lead our restoration efforts in person, rather than directing my restoration management team by phone and email. I humbly and sincerely apologize," he said in the statement.

He also addresses whether he should step down from his position, saying no. "There is a lot of work to do in implementing the changes necessary to bringing BWL's technology into the 21st century, and I am confident I can continue, with the support of the board, the leadership role I've played at the BWL during the last 6.5 years," he said.

The release goes on to say there will be a top to bottom review of BWL's response and how things were handled during and after the storm.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero also released a statement, saying "It was certainly an ill-advised decision given what has transpired and I am confident that Peter will take full responsibility for that. I continue to believe that after six years of progress at the helm of BWL he remains the best person to assess and fix what went wrong during this crisis. I hope the BWL board of commissioners will give him the opportunity to do that. At this point I believe the BWL and our community are better served by continuity rather than more disruption."

The ice storm that came through December 22 knocked out power to over 660,000 Michigan residents, around 40,000 which were BWL customers.

Lark and BWL has faced harsh reaction from the public due to the response and communication from the company.

It took some people up to 10 days before power was restored by the utility. Hundreds more are still in the dark because they needed an electrician to fix their lines before BWL could turn power back on.

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