It is very clear to us that the Imperial Irrigation District board is set to hire a person directly linked to the natural gas-hedging scandal as its new Energy Department manager.
That being the case, it is also clear that the board — specifically directors Mike Abatti, James Hanks and Stella Mendoza — has made a very bad decision. In fact, this decision is one of the worst we have ever seen made by a publicly elected board, and one the public should be aware of and upset about.
The public should be upset because these directors are seeking to hire Frank Barbera, a person who was involved in the hedging scandal that cost ratepayers an estimated $30 million to $50 million. Barbera was part of the Risk Oversight Committee that was tasked with insuring rules governing hedging were followed. He failed in that duty.
Not only did he fail in that duty, he also noted, wrongly, that the Energy Department was doing “what the policy dictates” when it came to the hedging.