‘Shame on You, Pepco,’ Residents Say at D.C. Council Hearing
Dozens of irate residents and business owners lashed out at Pepco officials Friday during the first public hearing on the electric company’s response to the widespread power outages caused by last month’s violent storms.
At a heated D.C. Council hearing, which stretched well into the evening, witnesses spoke of spoiled food, sweltering nursing-home rooms, credit-card-busting hotel bills, and dangerous trips up and down dark stairwells due to powerless elevators. And they vented their frustration over how long it took Pepco to get the power back on.
One disgruntled customer said simply: “Shame on you, Pepco. Shame on you, Pepco.”
Despite residents’ concerns — including outrage over reports that Pepco’s chief executive, Joseph M. Rigby, made $7.2 million last year — only three council members showed up for the hearing.
But D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), chairman of the Public Services and Consumer Affairs Committee, stressed that it was just the beginning of the city’s efforts to hold Pepco accountable for the outage that persisted in some neighborhoods for a week.