Former Springs Utilities official in the crosshairs over Kentucky Derby trips

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THOMAS KELLEY/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Thomas Kelley/Shutterstock.com
A former high-ranking Colorado Springs Utilities official is in some hot water after it was discovered that his new employer, the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, spent more than $1 million taking top officials to the Kentucky Derby from 2013 to 2016.

Drew Rankin, CSU's general manager of energy supply for more than six years, left in December 2010 to take the Connecticut job.

Rankin had a lot to do with Utilities hiring Neumann Systems Group to build pollution control equipment for Drake Power Plant, which exceeded original cost estimates. Neumann is no longer in business. Rankin also was quoted in this story I wrote while working at a different newspaper.

According to theday.com, the list of attendees were:
2013 participants in Kentucky Derby trip hosted by CMEEC:
Debra Bilda, John Bilda, Dee Boisclair, Richard Boisclair, Jeff Celuch, Amy Demicco, Louis Demicco, Edward DeMuzzio, Michael Huntwork, Carolyn Pryor, Edward Pryor, Drew Rankin, Linda Sanchez, Paula Sinko, Steve Sinko, James Smith, Jessica Smith, Kathleen Solano, James Sullivan, Kenneth Sullivan, Nancy Sullivan, Terry Thompson-Cannon, Carol Throwe, Richard Throwe.

2014 participants:
Debra Bilda, John Bilda, Nancy Black, Randy Black, Leslie Blew, Dee Boisclair, Richard Boisclair, Justin Connell, Amy Demicco, Louis Demicco, Edward DeMuzzio, David Giroux, Lisa Giroux, John Hanselman, Rachel Hanselman, Ellen Kachmar, Carolyn Pryor, Edward Pryor, Michael Rall, Nicole Rall, Drew Rankin, Linda Sanchez, Paula Sinko, Steve Sinko, James Smith, Jessica Smith, Kathleen Solano, Cara Stellato, James Sullivan, Kenneth Sullivan, Nancy Sullivan, Carol Throwe, Richard Throwe.
We've bold-faced Solano's name, because she's general manager of customer services for Springs Utilities. She says through Utilities spokesman Steve Berry that she attended the Derby as Rankin's guest in 2013, 2014 and 2015, but hasn't been in touch with Rankin since 2015. No Utilities money was spent and she used vacation time for the trips, he said.

The Norwich Bulletin reports the FBI is looking at the Connecticut utility, which might include the Derby trips.


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