City mulls $5M penalty over paid power plant 'supporters'

Posted at 12:51 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 12:51:53-05

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans officials are moving closer to imposing a $5 million penalty on a major utility company over the use of secretly paid actors at public hearings last year to support plans for a new gas-fired power plant.

A city council committee on Thursday discussed the payment as part of a settlement that would allow Entergy New Orleans to proceed with the project. That angered some among a crowd of about 200 attending the meeting. Protesters shouted that the payment wasn't enough. And they want the power project scuttled over environmental concerns.

Entergy had hired a California public relations company, which hired the actors.

The settlement calls for the penalty payment to be used to help provide more reliable power for the city's troubled street drainage and drinking water system.