Federal Lawsuit: Utility Execs Collected Big Bonuses


A newly filed federal lawsuit included allegations that for many SCANA and Santee Cooper customers, adds insult to injury.

Those claims center on what utility executives were hauling in from performance bonuses, even as the VC Summer reactor expansion project was falling apart.

The information is included in a 24-page court document outlining a class action suit against the SCANA Corporation.

The suit filed by Columbia attorney Brian Gambrell and the Hickory, North Carolina-based Jason Taylor Law Firm targets what the utilities said was the need for the new reactors, their projected cost, design, and construction.

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It alleges that SCANA and partner Santee Cooper “actively concealed” or publicly minimized a substantial risk the project could fail.

The suit says SCANA knew or should have known the company’s bottom line would be enhanced regardless of whether the reactors were actually finished.

The suit also notes what it calls the “handsome bonuses” paid to top utility officials even as the project “veered toward abandonment.”

They include bonuses awarded to:

  • SCANA CEO, Chairman Kevin Marsh—$3.3 million in 2016
  • SCANA CFO Jimmy Addison—$620,000 in 2016
  • SCANA COO Stephen Byrne—$620,000 in 2016
  • SCANA, Santee Cooper Top Executives—who received 20% of their base pay in 2014
  • SCANA, Santee Cooper Top Executives—a total of $21,361,837 in performance bonuses since 2007.

Overall, the suit also claims SCANA paid executives and employees including SCANA and Santee Cooper $3,425,855 in additional discretionary bonuses related in part or in whole to the reactor project since 2007.

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The plaintiffs say SCANA paid the money with the full knowledge of the existing problems with the project and/or the contents of the Bechtel report.

That report, identifying at least nine areas of deficiency in the reactor construction plan, was released internally to some at SCANA in February 2016.

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