In October, a reporter for The Lens observed a group of about 50 people walk into a public hearing wearing orange shirts supporting a new power plant in New Orleans. Some of them were actors, according to interviews and messages reviewed by The Lens. Entergy has now acknowledged that people were paid to attend two public meetings. The company said it hired a PR firm to bring supporters, but it didn’t know people were paid to do so.
Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice, at left in grey suit, listens as protesters noisily oppose the $210 million gas-fired power plant that Entergy has proposed for New Orleans East. The council approved the plant with a 6-1 vote after an hours-long hearing in March (Kevin Litten, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune).(Kevin Litten)
“It was very shady, very secretive, especially when we got paid. They literally paid us under the table.”
—One of the actors who was paid to speak at the October meeting