Town Hall Meeting: Former CenterPoint Manager Answers Questions

"The company that's there now is not the company that I originally went to work for," Ed Carlile, a former CenterPoint manager and meter reader for more than 36 years, said.

He answered questions from Tyler residents about allegations the energy company has been overcharging them for years.

A townhall meeting just wrapped up an hour ago. And CenterPoint customers were heated up because they could only get limited answers to their questions. That's because Centerpoint Energy was a no-show. The company backed out of the meeting last week. And tonight, an empty chair led Mayor Joey Deeber to reiterate that CenterPoint does not want to be held accountable for charging customers such high gas rates.

Mayor Seeber also introduced the possibility of having the city buy gas directly from the producer and have a company like CenterPoint only distribute it to the customers.

"I don't think the city of Tyler buying the gas to put into the distribution system is far-fetched at all," Seeber said. "The city of Odessa is doing it now. It's something that we'll be looking into at the city of Tyler, if that will solve the problem that we've found with CenterPoint."

"I just think there's not being proper responsibility taken," Carlile, who's now a Marshall city commissioner, said. "There's no incentive for them to keep those costs down."

"I think it's a very sad state of affairs that the CenterPoint representative didn't come out tonight," Jean Barlow, a Tyler customer, said. "I think that speaks volumes for me."

CenterPoint's district manager, Fred Carl, told us he did not want to address the public while the investigation is still ongoing. However, he is willing to participate in a townhall meeting once a decision in the case is made.

Julie Tam, reporting.