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NC councilman hot over Irene outages charged

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ELIZABETH CITY, NC (AP) -- A councilman in a North Carolina city hit by Hurricane Irene has been accused of threatening an electricity repair worker because the councilman was angry about which neighborhoods were being restored first.

The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported Friday that the lineman filed a criminal complaint against Councilman Michael Brooks.

Joseph Bentley of the Elizabeth City Electric Department says Brooks threatened him Sunday as he was working to restore power.

Brooks admits confronting Bentley about the city's priorities, but denies using profanity or threatening to kill the city worker. Brooks said he thought the city's power restoration choices were being driven by politics rather than where the most customers without power were located.

City Manager Rich Olson says power restoration efforts were driven by technical requirements.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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