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Assemblyman: Con Ed Wasted Money While Businesses Suffered

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A Queens lawmaker accused Con Edison of wasting money on advertising while local businesses struggled to stay afloat after last summer's blackout at a press conference Sunday.

State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris says the power company spent more than a half-million dollars on advertising in the months after the blackout, while denying store owners full compensation for business lost.

The blackout paralyzed much of Western Queens for more than a week last July and forced many businesses to close their doors. Con Ed did offer businesses $7,000, but Gianaris says it isn't enough; he wants Con Ed to fully reimburse owners for the lost time and money.

Con Ed says the ads help them communicate with the community. A spokeswoman says the utility has spent $90-million in repairs in Northwest Queens, and has paid out more than $14-million to customers who were affected. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP