Entergy New Orleans has said it had no knowledge that individuals were paid to attend City Council meetings to support a proposed power plant in New Orleans East, but records show the company was given a price list to recruit supporters and speakers -- and approved the expenditure.
The list from an Entergy public relations contractor, The Hawthorn Group, was among the documents the New Orleans City Council released Wednesday (June 13) in its ongoing probe of the paid actor controversy.
Hawthorn Group president Suzanne Hammelman included the list in an Jan. 19 email to Yolanda Pollard, Entergy New Orleans communications manager. The list included the price for supporters and the $5,000 fee Hawthorn charged to the company, plus its expenses to recruit supporters.
The list provided Entergy with five options:
There was no indication in that email that the supporters were being paid -- only recruited. Two invoices included in the documents ahead of key public meetings show Hawthorn billed Entergy at least $54,600.
"More time generally = better quality," Hammelman wrote in the email.
Entergy ended up paying for 30 supporters, and in one email, Pollard referenced having the payment approved with "Charles." The CEO of Entergy New Orleans is Charles Rice; a spokeswoman with the company said the email referred to Rice.
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