Friday, May 31, 2013

Citizens Energy Officials Grossly Overpaid

The Indianapolis Star has provided an up-to-date online database of salaries paid to various public officials in Indiana. Fortunately, the database has included officials of Citizens Energy, the nonprofit public utility that operates gas, sewer and water utilities for Indianapolis consumers. The pay of top officials of the utility is outrageous. Citizen's CEO, Carey Lykins, is the highest earning public official in the state of Indiana, receiving a salary of $2.9 million. There are 16 top officials earning more than $250,000 a year. This is an outrage and the IURC should start scrutinizing their double-digit rate increases and asking why the top officials of the company are feasting at the expense of Indianapolis' utility consumers. Obviously, there is no body on the board of directors overseeing Citizens Energy who is the least bit concerned how inefficiently this utility is being operated or you wouldn't see so many employees earning outrageous salaries. Some of these positions are simply made up positions to provide a high-paying job to appease someone, which may or may not require any actual work or knowledge. Seriously, does Citizen really need to be paying someone nearly a half million dollars a year to be in charge of community relations or customer relations? What a joke.

Carey Lykins, CEO-$2.9 million
Margaret Richgreek, CAO-$1.4 million
John Brehm, CFF-$766,000
John Whitaker-Chief Legal Counsel-$706,000
Robert Hummel, VP, Human Resources-$642,000
Lindsay Lindgren, VP, Water Operations-$542,000
Jeffrey Harrison, VP, Engineering-$532,000
Yvonne Perkins, VP, Community Relations-$484,000
Michael Strohl, VP, Customer Relations-$460,000
John Lucas, VP, IT-$452,000
Aaron Johnson, VP, Strategy & Corporate Dev.-$369,000
Latona Prentice, VP, Regulatory Affairs-$355,000
Christopher Braun, VP, Energy Operations-$354,000
Kristine Kuhn, Director, Internal Audit-$268,000
Matthew Klein, Director, Resource Planning-$260,000
Blair Dougherty, Controller-$259,000

Curiosity got me to wonder who sits on the board of directors for Citizens Energy. Of course, it has not one but two governing boards, a 5-member board of trustees and a 9-member board of directors, both of which are described as "non-partisan." No surprises, here. Not a single person who could care less about how high your utility bills are.

Board of Trustees:
Dan Evans, IU Health Partners
Dennis Bland, President, Center for Leadership Development
Kathryn Betley, Civic Leader
Jackie Nytes, CEO, Indianapolis Public Library
John Krauss, Director, IU Public Policy Institute

Board of Directors:
James McClelland, President, Goodwill Industries
Daniel Appel, Gregory & Appel Insurance
Moira Carlstedt, President, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership
Anita Harden, Retired President of Community East Hospital
Jeffrey Good, Director, Milestone Advisors
Anne Nobles, Retired VP of Eli Lilly
Phillip Terry, CEO, Monarch Beverage
Christina Hicks, VP, Human Resources, Wishard
J.A. Lacy, CEO, LDI


Unigov said...

Factoid time!
1) Citizens Gas touts their program of providing financial assistance to poor people, to keep the heat on in winter. This program though only provides $1.6 million a year - less than their CEO makes.
2) Those VP salaries are WAY expensive for a non-profit company that size.
3) Board of Trustees member John Krauss runs the IU Public Policy Institute, which earlier this year published a 'study' quantifying the financial impact of the 500. Mark Miles (500 CEO) is a member of the board, and most likely a contributor to, that Institute.
4) Kathryn Betley isn't so much a 'civic leader' than a bank honcho.
5) Citizens Gas purchases all its energy from its for-profit parent, Citizens Energy. This enables Citizens Energy to speculate on the gas market, knowing that if their bets go sour and they lock in gas pricers that are higher than the market, they can always sell that gas at any price to Citizens Gas. Basically the parent can gamble cause the ratepayers cover any risk.
6) Many of those names are reliable insiders, who can be 'trusted' to know how the game works.

Gary R. Welsh said...

What do you want to bet Citizens spends about as much on warm and fuzzy ads touting its program for providing financial assistance to the poor as it does the program?

Insiders is right. Can't have anybody who asks questions or who is inclined to rock the boat from time to time.

Downtown Indy said...

Do they still label themselves a 'charitable trust'?

If so, it seems 'charity begins at home', as the saying goes.

Anonymous said...

Just one more example of greed with no moral compass. I don't understand how these folks think it is right getting wealthy from rate payers. Many struggle to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. They should all be fired!

Brock said...

Citizens' executive staff had their salaries recently cut. In fact, Lykins' was cut by $1 million in 2012 (before this article was written) reducing his pay to $1.9m, and is facing an additional 32% dock in pay leading up to his retirement in June 2015, his position to be taken over by Jeffrey Harrison.