Avangrid and NY firm swap allegations in separate lawsuits - Albuquerque Journal

Avangrid and NY firm swap allegations in separate lawsuits

Connecticut-based energy company Avangrid and New York-based Security Limits Inc. have each filed separate lawsuits against one another, with Avangrid claiming extortion by Security Limits, and the latter accusing Avangrid of bid rigging.

Avangrid is seeking state Public Regulation Commission approval to acquire PNM Resources and its two utility subsidiaries, Public Service Company of New Mexico and Texas New Mexico Power.

Security Limits owner and CEO Paulo Silva has twice provided disparaging testimony against Avangrid during open public comments at the PRC as part of the merger case.

Security Limits also filed a lawsuit on Nov. 29 in federal court in New York accusing Avangrid, its parent company Iberdrola and some of their suppliers of rigging bids and steering contracts away from Security Limits to favor other companies in a “pay-to-play scheme.”

Meanwhile, Avangrid filed a lawsuit on Dec. 4 in First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe accusing Security Limits of “defamation” and “tortious interference” in the PRC merger proceedings.

Security Limits, a cybersecurity firm, previously provided information technology services to an Avangrid subsidiary in New York under subcontracts with third-party providers. But Silva’s company has since failed to win new contracts in competitive bidding processes.

In its lawsuit, Avangrid says Silva threatened in emails to intervene in the merger case to pressure Avangrid into awarding contracts to his company. Avangrid says it rejected those pressure and “extortion” tactics, and Silva then made good on his threats through public statements at the PRC on Aug. 9 and Dec. 1.

Among other things, Silva accused Avangrid and Iberdrola, S.A., of corrupt procurement practices and coercion, even implying that Avangrid has hacked the computers of people involved in the merger case.

“Anyone attending these proceedings that has spoken against this merger, I strongly urge you as a cybersecurity professional to rebuild all of your computers (and) change all your passwords,” Silva told PRC participants in August.

Avangrid’s lawsuit – which seeks damages for defamation and slander – says Security Limits is a “disgruntled former subcontractor” that has made “false, defamatory and malicious public statements” to extort Avangrid. It says those accusations have damaged its reputation and possibly made it more difficult to win PRC approval for the merger.

Security Limits’s lawsuit seeks $110 million in damages and contains a wide range of allegations, such as over-purchasing equipment at inflated prices to increase its capital expenses to then recover those investments at a profit from utility customers. Much of the equipment was never used, but only stored in a warehouse, according to the lawsuit.

Silva alleges that after he complained about the overspending, Avangrid began rigging its bidding process to steer contracts to other firms.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Educators in NM rally amid growing teacher shortage
ABQnews Seeker
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has proposed ... Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has proposed pay increases in an effort to attract educators to the state
2
NM tech firms awarded state matching grants
ABQnews Seeker
The NM SBIR grants are designed ... The NM SBIR grants are designed to support local science and technology companies in achieving their commercialization goals, according to a news release from ...
3
An old face returns to City Hall
ABQnews Seeker
Keller appoints Griego as city's new ... Keller appoints Griego as city's new director of outreach and advocacy
4
I don't see traffic stops 2; driver's license redo
ABQnews Seeker
MVD vendor reissues 1,800 driver's licenses MVD vendor reissues 1,800 driver's licenses
5
NM lawmakers launch another push for school of public ...
ABQnews Seeker
Proposal wasn't included in the initial ... Proposal wasn't included in the initial state spending package
6
Suit says deputy misconduct led to false detention
ABQnews Seeker
Man spent five months in jail ... Man spent five months in jail before his assault case was dismissed in Jan. '21
7
Always on duty
ABQnews Seeker
Museum traces the history of police ... Museum traces the history of police work in Albuquerque
8
BCSO: Man found shot to death in field on ...
ABQnews Seeker
A man was found shot to ... A man was found shot to death in a field on the west end of Gun Club SW on Sunday morning. At about 7:30 ...
9
Two shot in separate incidents Sunday, one fatally
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police say one person is ... Albuquerque police say one person is in the hospital in critical condition after a shooting near Central and Coors early Sunday morning. Albuquerque Police ...