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    Thursday, November 30, 2023

    Political power structure protects NPU harrasser

    The “Me Too” movement has not made its way to Norwich Public Utilities. It’s still the good ole boys club, a place where sexual harassers are not disciplined, but rewarded. Facing allegations of sexual harassment, James Sullivan had ratepayers pay $35,000 to his alleged victim and a few months later boarded a private, chartered flight to the Kentucky Derby for the second of his three free trips, also at the expense of the NPU ratepayer.

    This harassment and reward was signed off on by the ethically-challenged general manager, John Bilda. How must this survivor feel that her harasser was rewarded with lavish vacations and payoffs. Bilda is, and was, complicit in the sexual harassment of a co-worker. And our local politicians, who should be fighting for the oppressed, are silent. And why wouldn’t they be? Sen. Cathy Osten had a recent fundraiser at a former NPU commissioner’s home. Rep. Emmett Riley has been largely silent on all issues with NPU, presumably due to his brother, Chris Riley’s job as NPU spokesman.

    Clearly, we need new representation that will stand up and hold harassers accountable. Maybe this autumn the "Me Too" movement can reach Norwich. Vote out the silence and blind eye toward NPU’s harassment and corruption. 

    Philip Brose