Connecticut Utility chief steps down after uproar over storm response

The head of Connecticut’s largest utility has stepped down in the wake of an uproar over the company’s slow response to a freak snowstorm.

Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer of Connecticut Light & Power, resigned as part of a series of changes at the company.

“We reluctantly accepted Jeff’s resignation,” said the chairman of Northeast Utilities, Charles Shivery, in a statement.

A blizzard in late October knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of residents in the state.

A week later, on November 5, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced the company was unlikely to meet its deadline, with 175,000 customers still in the dark.

The next day, Butler apologized for the company’s missing its goal.

CL&P’s public image was already battered by the outages that followed Tropical Storm Irene in September.

Malloy announced an investigation into what had gone wrong.

In a statement Thursday, the governor’s senior adviser, Roy Occhiogrosso, said, “Gov. Malloy made clear that he thought Northeast Utilities needed to address CL&P’s management issues, and it’s clear that process has begun. It’s also likely that there will be other changes on other fronts as a result of CL&P’s performance in the lead-up to and aftermath of the storm.”

A new position is being created at CL&P to lead emergency preparedness, Northeast Utilities said in a statement.