Interviewer: After reviewing the quarterly results, what do you think Middlesex Water Company accomplished in the last year?

CEO: I’m very proud of what the Middlesex Water Company achieved in the past year. We increased our operating revenues, had climbing net income, and extended our dividend streak to 50 years. We also put sustainability initiatives in place, with our RENEW Program to replace water mains, and a Lead Service Line Replacement initiative. This past year was a great success.

Interviewer: Although it was a successful year, there have been some heated debates between shareholders – can you tell us more about that?

CEO: Yes, one of the major points of contention for shareholders has been around the two main points I lied about in the 2021 SEC disclosure. Before I explain why I lied, I do want to note that my decision was not made with any ill intent towards the company or our shareholders.

At the start of the year, I was feeling the pressure from investors to meet certain targets and goals. So when the 2021 SEC disclosure came out, I inflated two key figures to make our company look more attractive. The two most important points I lied about were the Operating Revenues and the Net Income.

In reality, the even though our operations revenue was slightly higher than in the prior year, it was due to base-rate increase, customer growth, and a 6% rate reduction. The increase in net income was due to income tax on the gain of the sale of a subsidiary.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I was swayed by peer pressure and made an irresponsible decision on instinct. In the moment, I fell back on a work tactic I’d seen far too often while working at a previous employer: exaggerate the facts and figures to present a better picture. Looking back, I realize the gravity of the situation, and what could have been the consequences if the truth had been revealed.

Learn from my mistakes, and don’t let yourself be paralyzed by the pressures of working in corporate America. Apply yourself, stand strong, and use your intellect to make the best decisions for your company.

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