Despite his earlier claim, former "recovery czar" Ed Blakely not on official Hurricane Sandy commission, says co-chair



Dr. Ed Blakely
  • Dr. Ed Blakely
Brad Penuel, the co-chair of the New York Hurricane Sandy commission to which Dr. Ed Blakely claimed he had been appointed last week, told Gambit by phone today he wasn't familiar with Blakely — and in a subsequent email, added, "Just received confirmation that Ed Blakely will not be serving on the Commission."

Blakely — the Hurricane Katrina "recovery czar" who had been appointed under former Mayor Ray Nagin — made big waves last week when his new employer, the University of Sydney in Australia, issued a press release saying Blakely had been appointed to the Respond Commission. Blakely gave an interview on the subject to an Australian radio station, confirming the appointment.

The Respond Commission is one of three announced by the state of New York to analyze the response to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Penuel, its co-chair, is also director of the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response at New York University,

An official press release released an hour ago from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced the commission's makeup and made no mention of Blakely, although it noted "Additional appointments may be made to the commissions."

Penuel, though, made it clear that Blakely would not be one of them.

Press release under the jump.

The statement from N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office:

For Immediate Release: November 28, 2012


Links to Biographies for Members of Commissions Below

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced appointments to three commissions — NYS 2100, NYS Respond, and NYS Ready — charged with undertaking a comprehensive review and making specific recommendations to overhaul and improve New York State’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities, as well as examining how to improve the strength and resilience of the state’s infrastructure to better withstand major weather incidents.

“These three commissions have been tasked with a significant responsibility, and we need the best and brightest professionals to serve on them,” Governor Cuomo said. “These appointments consist of experienced men and women who have the skills and backgrounds necessary to review and make recommendations for New York State to improve its preparedness and response capabilities as well as to strengthen the state’s infrastructure for the future. I look forward to working with each and every one of these members to make our state a safer place for all New Yorkers.”

Additional appointments may be made to the commissions. Today’s appointments are listed below:

NYS Respond Commission

The NYS Respond Commission is tasked with finding ways to ensure that New York State is ready to respond to future weather-related disasters. The Commission will examine and make recommendations to improve the planning, training and resource commitment that must occur before the next major weather event in order for the appropriate deployment of people and resources to take place during and after the emergency or disaster occurs. The Commission will be co-chaired by Thad Allen, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Admiral (US Coast Guard, Retired), and Brad Penuel, Director of the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response at New York University. The Commission’s recommendations are due to the Governor by January 3, 2013.

Specific areas the Commission has been charged to review and make recommendations on include ensuring that:
· sufficient trained personnel can be activated for emergency response and recovery efforts
· the health and safety of hospital patients and other vulnerable persons are protected during an emergency
· the public is provided with reliable and timely information
· every locality has planned and is prepared for a disaster
· emergency responses are effectively coordinated across all levels of government
· adverse events are rapidly responded to and post-emergency needs such as shelter, food, water, electricity and essential appliances are identified and met

· Thad Allen, Senior Vice President, Booz Allen; Admiral (US Coast Guard) — Retired (Co-Chair)
· K. Bradley Penuel, Director, Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response at New York University (Co-Chair)
· Doug Barton, Director of Planning & Economic Development, Tioga County
· Patricia Bashaw, EMS Coordinator, Essex County
· Bradford Berk, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences & CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center
· LaRay Brown, Senior Vice President, Corporate Planning, Community Health and Intergovernmental Relations, NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation
· Major General Doug Burnett, Florida National Guard (Ret.)
· James Burns, President, Firemen’s Association of the State of New York
· The Reverend Frederick Davie, Executive Vice President, Union Theological Seminary in New York City
· Peter J. Davoren, President and Chief Executive Officer, Turner Construction
· Grant Dillon, President, Global Preparedness and Mitigation
· Eli Feldman, President & CEO, MJHS and Elderplan
· Peter Gudaitis, President, National Disaster Interfaiths Network
· Tony Hannigan, Executive Director, Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS)
· Jerome Hauer, Commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (Advisory Member)
· Scott Heller, Director of Emergency Management, Albany Medical Center
· Tino Hernandez, President & Chief Executive Officer, Samaritan Village, Inc.
· Bart Johnson, Executive Director, International Association of Chiefs of Police
· Timothy Manning, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, FEMA (Advisory Member)
· Mike McManus, President, New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association
· Thomas Mungeer, President, New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association
· Chris Renschler, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Buffalo
· Marilyn Saviola, Vice President, Advocacy and the Women’s Health Access Program, Independence Care System
· Jennifer Schneider, Professor & Russell C. McCarthy Endowed Chair, Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management & Safety Department, Rochester Institute of Technology
· Mark J. Solazzo, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, North Shore-LIJ Health System
· Harry L. Weed, II, Superintendent of Public Works, Village of Rockville Centre
· Sheena Wright, President, United Way of New York City

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