South Carolina utility chairman sues over proposed firing

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The chairman of the state-owned utility Santee Cooper has sued to prevent South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster from firing him after the abandonment of a nuclear project.

Media outlets reported Santee Cooper board chairman Leighton Lord filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Columbia challenging McMaster’s effort to remove Lord.

Lord also wrote McMaster Wednesday saying the governor had falsely accused Lord of withholding important documents and resisting efforts by lawmakers and the governor to investigate the $9 billion V.C. Summer expansion project failure. Lord said McMaster had an electronic copy of the requested document.

Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. abandoned the construction project July 31, blaming the decision primarily on the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

Gubernatorial spokesman Bryan Symmes says the governor stands by his decision.

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