Change comes amid billing debacle

Central Hudson replaced Charles Freni as president and CEO as the state weighs a fine against the company over its new billing system, which has caused widespread errors on customers’ bills.

Christopher Capone, who has held positions in accounting and risk management since joining Central Hudson in 2003, will replace Freni, the utility announced on Monday (Feb. 13).

Capone said his “key priority” will be addressing frustrations about the billing problems, and that employees are working “around the clock” to fix the system. “More must be done, and my commitment to you is I will be transparent about the progress we are making,” he said.

The decision to replace Freni, who will help with the transition before retiring, follows Rep. Pat Ryan’s call, during a speech Feb. 1 on the floor of the House of Representatives, that he resign. Ryan, a Democrat, represents New York’s 19th Congressional District, which includes Beacon.

“I am encouraged that Central Hudson took this first step toward rebuilding public trust,” said Ryan on Tuesday. “Now they must take urgent action to fix their broken systems and repay customers who were wronged.”

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