Man Leading Investigation On BWL Storm Response Speaks Out - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Man Leading Investigation On BWL Storm Response Speaks Out

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - "So I want to know what went right, I want to know what went wrong, and I want to know any recommendations the public has for fixing this."

Those stern words came from retired brigadier general Michael McDaniel, a man with quite a resume. He served as former Deputy Secretary Assistant for Homeland Defense at the Pentagon, and Assistant Attorney General for Litigation here in Michigan.

Now McDaniel's charged with a new task –putting a review team together and leading the investigation of BWL's response to the recent ice storm that knocked out power for forty-thousand of its customers.  

"I am looking for community representatives, and I'm looking for subject matter experts. I'm not looking for politicians and I'm not looking for aspiring politicians," McDaniel said.

McDaniel, now a Cooley Law School professor says he'll meet with members of the community, as well as BWL employees to get at every angle of the storm response.

"Nobody wants this to happen again, so you can't just look at this one discreet event. You've got to look at systemically what do we have to do for long term recovery," said McDaniel.

McDaniel says as chairman of the independent review, he thinks it would be detrimental to drag out the investigation, and says he is setting his own deadline. He expects the entire review to be complete within ninety days.

In his past work with the Attorney General's office, McDaniel says he got to know J. Peter Lark, BWL's current general manager. McDaniel says, however, his past relationship and current friendship with Lark won't affect his investigation.  

"He certainly is not getting a pass. My duty here is to the city of Lansing--the Lansing region and the overall customer base, not to Peter Lark."

McDaniel promised to be transparent and thorough; time will tell if the review chairman keeps his word.

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