New CEO of Detroit’s Public Lighting Authority named

The Detroit News

The Detroit Public Lighting Authority on Saturday appointed its chief operating officer as the new CEO, three days after the previous leader abruptly resigned.

Nicolette Carlone, who has served as both chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the authority, succeeds Odis Jones, who was appointed CEO in 2013 with the goal of fixing the city’s longstanding street lighting problem.

Lorna Thomas, chairman of the lighting authority board, said Carlone “is the obvious choice” to lead the utility “to continue the tremendous progress we are making in relighting the city of Detroit.”

“We believe her appointment will result in a seamless transition that maintains the momentum we have achieved over the past two years,” Thomas said in a statement.

The Public Lighting Authority (PLA) is a state-created organization. It is a separate legal entity from the city of Detroit. The authority is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the mayor and the City Council. All five board members are residents of Detroit.

Before the PLA started its work, about 40 percent of the streetlights in Detroit didn’t work.

Carlone, who joined the lighting authority in 2014 as chief financial officer and was named COO in 2015, said in the statement “with the help of the outstanding team that we have in place at the PLA, we will continue to work to complete the relighting of the remainder of the city ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Carlone, a certified public accountant, is a lifelong Michigan resident is a graduate of from Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan.

In a statement on Wednesday announcing his departure, Jones said more than 60,000 energy efficient LED lights have been installed in neighborhoods and main thoroughfares.

In November, Jones’ contract was extended indefinitely and he was awarded a bonus totaling $20,000 for outstanding achievement.