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Commentaries and editorials

Bill Drummond Resigns from BPA, Accepts New
Post with Mid-West Electric Consumers Association

by Jeannine Anderson
Public Power Weekly, January 13, 2014

Bill Drummond (left), accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth, takes the oath of office, which was administered by Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. Bill Drummond, former head of the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Ore., resigned from BPA early this month and has accepted a new job with the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association in Wheat Ridge, Colo. He was named deputy executive director of the Colorado-based utility association, effective on March 1. Drummond will succeed Thomas Graves as executive director at Mid-West when Graves retires later this year.

Drummond will succeed Graves as executive director later this year. Photo source: BPA "Bill brings a world of experience to Mid-West," said Graves. "He's got the knowledge, dedication and commitment to consumer-owned electric utilities and the federal power program. We're fortunate to have someone of Bill's caliber taking over at Mid-West."

"I'm thrilled to be going back to work for consumer-owned electric utilities and federal power preference customers," said Drummond. "It's something I believe in and a place where I want to continue to serve for the benefit of our consumers."

Drummond became administrator of BPA in February 2013. Six months later, on July 15, he and BPA's chief operating officer, Anita Decker, were put on administrative leave. This happened on the eve of a preliminary report from the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General that found widespread violations of federal hiring practices at Bonneville. The allegations in the report included discrimination against veterans and possible retaliation against whistle blowers.

In October, DOE gave Drummond and Decker each 60 days to respond to offers of "directed reassignments" to other jobs at the Energy Department that would have required them to move to Washington, D.C.

In early December, both BPA executives notified DOE that they were declining the reassignments, Clearing Up newsletter reported Jan. 7. Drummond sent a resignation letter to DOE on Jan. 3, according to the "Special Bulletin" from Clearing Up, which includes a lengthy interview with Drummond.

Drummond was named deputy administrator at BPA in October 2011, before being named administrator one year ago. Before joining BPA, he was manager of the Western Montana Electric Generating and Transmission Cooperative in Missoula, Mont., for 17 years. From 1988 to 1994, he was executive director of the Public Power Council in Portland.

Related Pages:
BPA and DOE Avoid Disclosure of Public Records on Bonneville's Hiring Scandal - Again by Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian, 8/6/14
Energy Department Ousts 2 Top Officials of Bonneville Power Administration by Steven Mufson, Washington Post, 7/16/13
DOE Appoints Elliot Mainzer Interim Leader of BPA; Bill Drummond's Fate Unclear by Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian, 7/15/13

In comments he (Bill Drummond) made to the energy trade publication Clearing Up this spring, Drummond denied there was any retaliation and questioned the integrity of DOE's investigation and of Poneman, saying he declined a transfer to another position within DOE because he "would not work with a deputy secretary I do not trust or respect."
Bill Drummond quote in The Oregonian, 8/6/14

Jeannine Anderson
Bill Drummond Resigns from BPA, Accepts New Post with Mid-West Electric Consumers Association
Public Power Weekly, January 13, 2014

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