“The 30 pieces of silver given to parade you around and defend the concealment and mismanagement of Southern Company is embarrassing.”
The Southern Company Criminal RICO Enterprise has left carcasses scattered all over the place from ex-Balch & Bingham partner Clark A. Cooper to disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, from ex-Balch partner Jeffrey H. Wood to ousted ex-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite.
Will Kristine L. Svinicki be next?
Svinicki has been called to resign her position immediately on the Southern Company Board of Directors by Civil Rights Champion Ernesto Pichardo.
Pichardo, Chairman of the CDLU’s Board of Directors, sent a brief message to Svinicki:
You should resign immediately from the board of this criminal enterprise. The 30 pieces of silver given to parade you around and defend the concealment and mismanagement of Southern Company is embarrassing. You are much better than them. You don’t need them. Resign, Ms. Svinicki, resign.
And who is Svinicki?
On March 28, 2008, President George W. Bush appointed Ms. Kristine Svinicki as a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). She served as a Commissioner under three U.S. presidents, thereby becoming the NRC’s longest-serving Commissioner.
On January 23, 2017, President Donald J. Trump appointed Ms. Svinicki as Chairwoman of the NRC. On January 20, 2021, Ms. Svinicki announced her departure from the NRC on the eve of Joe Biden’s swearing-in as the 46th president of the United States.
Ms. Svinicki has decades of public service experience with a distinguished career as a nuclear engineer and policy advisor, working at the state and federal levels of government, and in both the legislative and executive branches.
So where is the controversy? DonaldWatkins.com lays out the influence peddling:
On October 18, 2021, some ten months after she retired from the NRC, Ms. Svinicki was appointed to the board of directors of the Southern Company.
Ms. Svinicki’s board appointment appears to be a classic example of influence peddling by the parent company of Georgia Power Company and Southern Nuclear Operating Company. These Southern Company affiliates hold NRC-issued licenses as the “owner” and “operator” of the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Waynesboro, Georgia.
There are thousands of highly qualified nuclear engineers in America. There are also scores of individuals with nuclear policy advisory experience that is comparable to Ms. Svinicki’s. However, there is only one person who served as Chairperson of the NRC from 2017 to 2021.
But the real hot water is federal regulations that bar the “revolving door scenario” that Svinicki appears to have violated. DonaldWatkins.com describes the regulations.
An employee or member of a federal regulatory agency who participated personally and substantially in a particular matter involving a specific party (e.g., grants, contracts, licenses, permits, applications, litigation, etc.), may never appear before or communicate on behalf of another with any federal department, agency, or court regarding that same particular matter. See, 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). This is a lifetime restriction.
For particular matters involving specific parties under the employee’s or agency member’s official responsibility during his/her last year of government service, the employee or member of a federal regulatory agency is restricted for two years after he/she leaves government service from appearing before and/or communicating on behalf of another with any federal department, agency, or court regarding those same particular matters. See, 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)(2).
These post-government employment restrictions are commonly known as “revolving door” restrictions. They are designed to prevent influence peddling within federal agencies by management level employees and members of federal regulatory agencies who depart their government positions for high-paying cushy jobs with the very companies they interacted with in their capacity as government officials.
The enforcement of these lifetime and two-year restrictions is codified under federal law and the consequences could be severe. If Svinicki indeed violated federal law, the U.S. Attorney General could file criminal charges against her under 18 U.S.C. § 216:
Svinicki appears to be in hot water. Boiling hot water.