Con Ed Taking Tax Heat As W-2s Vanish

April 1, 2006

By Kenneth Lovett

The personal tax information from last year for 15,000 Con Edison employees has mysteriously disappeared, The Post has learned.

Con Ed let the workers in on the situation Thursday night via e-mail.

"We have no reason to believe the information was stolen or misused," Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin told The Post yesterday.

The utility is offering to pay for a year's worth of credit-watch services for each employee to monitor whether the information is being used fraudulently.

"We're taking this step as a precaution," Clendenin said.

Con Ed was supposed to send two cartridge tapes containing the information in a package to JPMorgan Chase in upstate Binghamton, which inputs the data on behalf of the state Department of Taxation and Finance.

But on March 10, Clendenin said, the utility was notified there might be a problem.

Staff at JPMorgan Chase had a tape containing the 1099 withholding-tax information. But the tape that contained the W-2 data - including the Social Security numbers, addresses, taxes paid and salaries of every employee - was nowhere to be found.

Clendenin said the company was "reasonably certain" and "very confident" both tapes had been in the package it sent.

However, T&F spokesman Thomas Bergin said no one on its end could verify whether the package contained both tapes.

"The department conducted a vigorous and exhaustive investigation that proved inconclusive."

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