- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Commissioners for a Lansing-owned utility company have approved a $650,000 settlement with a former general manager that they fired four months ago.

Board of Water & Light commissioners gave unanimous approval Tuesday night to settle with J. Peter Lark and avoid a court battle.

Negotiations began after Lark was let go in January, amid allegations that he didn’t fulfill obligations as leader. He drew criticism for the utility’s handling of a December 2013 ice storm that left more than 40 percent of the company’s service area without power.

In a statement, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said now the utility company “can focus on moving forward.”

Lark said in a prepared statement that he “wouldn’t trade a minute” of his time at the utility company.

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