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New Administrator Steps Up To Handle BPA Woes

Elliot Mainzer now helms Bonneville Power Administration

The region’s largest power marketer has a new permanent top manager.

The Bonneville Power Administration’s interim chief will lead the agency as it recovers from a scandal over discriminating against veterans and retaliating against whistleblowers.

Elliot Mainzer was recently appointed to his post by the U.S. Energy department. His major task will be to make good on the promise to correct past hiring practices that left veterans out. There are some 1,200 cases from late 2010 through last summer that must be worked through.

Mainzer has been BPA’s acting administrator since last July and has worked in the energy industry for more than 16 years.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement, “He will … provide much needed stability as BPA works to get back on its feet and win back the public’s trust.”

The former head of the BPA, Bill Drummond, has taken a new position with an electric consumers association in Colorado. Former chief operating officer Anita Decker has been on paid leave since last summer. A BPA spokesperson couldn’t say whether that’s still the case.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.