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(NEW YORK) — The head of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is stepping down amid widespread criticism of the company in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

In a statement Tuesday, LIPA Chairman Howard Steinberg said Mike Hervey’s resignation as chief operating officer will be effective at the end of the year.  Hervey has been with the company for 12 years.

LIPA has received much flack for its slow response in restoring power to more than a million customers after Sandy struck the area on Oct. 29.  As of Wednesday morning, more than 8,000 customers still remain in the dark.

The company said on Tuesday that it had restored power to 99 percent of customers who are able to safely receive power.  But for about 35,000 others who are in flooded areas, customer repairs will need to be done first before LIPA can turn their lights back on.

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