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Allegheny Energy exec stepping down

May 13, 2003

The president of Allegheny Energy's energy trading company - a subsidiary responsible for the bulk of the company's recent financial losses - stepped down Monday.

Michael P. Morrell, 54, chose to accept the company's offer of early retirement, said spokeswoman Debra A. Beck. The buyouts were offered to white-collar employees beginning in July as part of an effort to reduce the 6,000-person work force by 10 percent.

David C. Benson, 50, has taken over Morrell's duties as president of Allegheny Energy Supply, which handles generating and marketing.

Allegheny Energy lost $334.4 million during the first three quarters of 2002. Allegheny Energy Supply accounted for $248.4 million of those losses, according to SEC filings.

Morrell will continue to work for the company until his retirement date, which has not been set, Beck said.

Benson, a 25-year employee of the Hagerstown-based utility, has been promoted from vice president of production for Allegheny Energy Supply to interim executive vice president of the subsidiary, she said.

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He lives in Jeanette, Pa., with and his wife, Lisa, and their three children.

Morrell, 54, will focus on resolving Allegheny's dispute with the California Department of Water Resources. California is trying to void or restructure power contracts it signed with Allegheny in March 2001 during an energy crisis.

Morrell lives in Hagerstown with wife, Rochelle, and their two children.

The announcement follows the retirement last month of Chairman Alan J. Noia.

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