[This post originally was published on June 30, 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. Now, with the riveting report about Jim Kerr from DonaldWatkins.com, the Southern Company Board of Directors appears to have been consistently and repeatedly misled by their Chief Compliance Officer, Kerr. Kerr lied to us and now documents, including financial spreadsheets, in our and law enforcement’s possession demonstrate unequivocally that Southern Company was involved in both the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and the Newsome Conspiracy Case.]
New audio files appear to expose systemic racism at the utility.
In 2018, one of Southern Company ‘s top executives refused to acknowledge or condemn racism attributed to a bribery scheme while on a phone call with the CDLU.
Jim Kerr, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and the Chief Compliance Officer at Southern Company, allegedly reviewed two matters involving Balch after meeting with the CDLU.
One of the matters was the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal whose main objective of suppressing African-Americans from having their toxic property tested by the EPA was born at the offices of the embattled law firm Balch & Bingham.
For 98 years, Balch & Bingham has received millions in fees from Southern Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.
North Birmingham is 92.5 percent African-American.
Kerr had the audacity to dismiss the racist scheme, telling K.B. Forbes, the Chief Executive Officer of the CDLU, “I don’t accept your proposition or your hypothesis.”
Forbes responded, “Should [Balch & Bingham] have the right to suppress African-Americans? You think that’s okay? I’m asking you point blank, do you think it’s okay? Do you find it morally repugnant or not Jim? Come on take a stand!”
Kerr would not react until the CDLU brought up an analogy of Southern Company’s refusal to hold Balch accountable would be like refusing to hold Woolworth accountable when they “wanted to keep Blacks out of the soda fountain.”
Kerr called CDLU’s analogy “preposterous” but the CDLU rebutted Kerr, saying, that it was accurate because the bribery scheme“discriminated against poor African-Americans in North Birmingham CERLA.”
Kerr then again refused to acknowledge or accept that the North Birmingham scheme discriminated against poor African-Americans, declaring, “I have no evidence that that is the case that any entity involving my organization or any entity based on the information that I’ve been given that that is the case. Your analogy is unfounded.”
But then Kerr was blindsided by the CDLU.
Jeffrey H. Wood was a lobbyist for Balch & Bingham and was lobbying on Capitol Hill in 2016 about the North Birmingham EPA matter at the same time as the bribery scheme in North Birmingham against the EPA was happening.
Former State Representative Oliver Robinson, a Balch partner, and a Drummond Company executive were sentenced to federal prison in the bribery and money laundering scheme.
But Wood was not lobbying on behalf of Drummond.
Wood was lobbying for Alabama Power, whose top three executives (CEO, General Counsel, and VP of Government Affairs) are all former Balch & Bingham partners. Alabama Power is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company.
At first, on the phone call, Kerr said he wasn’t sure what we were asking, but after repeating the question with reminders, he took 5 seconds to respond with a canned legal answer: “It’s, um… I told you that I looked into the information provided me. We reviewed the information and I have no concerns about anything inappropriate.”
Even national news publication geared towards African-American millennials The Root noted Kerr’s 5 seconds of silence:
Kerr responded, “We do not see a place to step into [the Robinson scandal].” That rings hollow considering that Wood, Balch’s point lobbyist for Southern, was lobbying on Superfund policy at the time on behalf of Southern. In fact, Wood has specifically recused himself (pdf) from any matters at the ENRD pertaining to the 35th Avenue site, suggesting that he was specifically lobbying about the site. After [the CDLU] pointed this out, Kerr took a long pause before going full Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “We reviewed the information. I have no concerns about anything inappropriate.”
Earlier this month, Tom Fanning (pictured above) hypocritically declared he was ready to “uncover and destroy systemic racism in all its forms.”
Fanning should then immediately and unequivocally fire his vendor, his company’s law firm of choice, Balch & Bingham.
If Fanning continues to refuse, then Fanning should be fired for lying to investors, misleading the public, and deceiving the African-American community with empty words and empty promises.
Top Alabama Power employees have been documenting Peoples’ demands to cover themselves in the event things at the company blowup…
Yesterday’s breaking news report from DonaldWatkins.com that included audio of Alabama Power’s new but embattled Chairman and CEO Jeff Peoples declaring “what ya’ll are going to get from me is sunshine and transparency” has caused a firestorm at the utility.
Peoples comments of “sunshine and transparency” go counter to the hard evidence law enforcement and others have.
Peoples, as Executive Vice President of Employee and Customer Services at Alabama Power, hid additional payments to Matrix, LLC, the obscure political consulting firm that allegedly engaged in nefarious if not criminal misconduct and other entities tied to Matrix’s founder, Joe Perkins, by issuing vague “extra work authorizations.”
As we pointed out in December, shortly after ex-Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite resigned in disgrace, Peoples signed off on an “extra work authorization” in 2018 paying Perkins an additional mid-five figures on top of the secret multi-million-dollar annual contracts the firm and its founder, Perkins, received.
Now, today, we publish that work authorization in its entirety:
And what was the $39,300 allegedly for?
For “transportation organization management” according to the document, but a blatant lie insiders confirm.
The reality is the extra work authorization was to target and terrorize the young children of Burt Newsome.
Newsome, an attorney who represents banks and financial institutions, was stunned when his wife and four young children were sent a threatening package tied to the “extra work authorization.”
As we wrote in August of 2018:
But now come the real sick idiots who sent the Newsome family a threatening package: Five pieces of luggage and numerous clothing outfits.
The message was crystal clear: get ready to pack and leave town.
Were they threatening the family? The father, Burt Newsome? Was he going to be injured, killed or murdered? Or were the wife and children going to “disappear” on a permanent vacation?
The extra work authorization was authorized on August 3, 2018 and the incident against the Newsome family happened four days later on August 7, 2018 according to the police report.
A stolen credit card obtained from the break in of Newsome’s wife car a few days earlier was used in the purchase of the travel bags and outfits. Use of a stolen credit card is a felony.
As Donald Watkins.com wrote yesterday:
Alabama Power Company employees are very uncomfortable with Jeff Peoples, but they are meeting his leadership demands. After all, Peoples is their new CEO.
However, top Alabama Power employees have been documenting Peoples’ demands to cover themselves in the event things at the company blowup because they know that Jeff Peoples funded all the Joe Perkins/Matrix “dirty tricks” projects, with absolutely no accountability.
Perkins’ Southern Company-related work assignments are the subject of multiple media and law enforcement investigations in multiple states. Perkins handwritten notes have also implicated Southern Company in a massive $27 billion, multi-year accounting fraud scheme.
And the massive, multi-year accounting fraud scheme is evident in these obscure “extra work authorizations” used to pay for insidious, nefarious, if not criminal misconduct, and allegedly including identity theft, robbery, retaliation against an informant, use of a stolen credit card, use of fear, threat of murder, threat of bodily injury or death, invasion of privacy, intrusion of seclusion and much, much more.
And these Southern Company executives cannot foresee a criminal RICO case right before their eyes?
Maybe Joe Perkins is barking at Peoples like he barked at Crosswhite before Crosswhite’s sudden but expected demise.
This bogus “transportation organization management” work order adds to last week’s sensational allegation from DonaldWatkins.com that Peoples allegedly spent up to $30,000 a month in corporate funds on hookers and party pads.
A forensic audit is in order and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission must broaden their probe to look at bogus work orders, wire fraud, and alleged misappropriation of corporate funds. Any criminal findings should be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice.
In the meantime, Southern Company must terminate Joe Perkins, Jeff Peoples, Balch & Bingham and all the elements involved in the criminal RICO enterprise.
Newsome’s children deserve it. Investors deserve it. Rate payers deserve it.
The era of dirty deeds, dirty lingerie, and dirty accounting methods must come to an end, no matter how ugly or painful the consequences are.
Another week and another cancellation today of Southern Company’s public meeting with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission about Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant Reactors 3 and 4.
The cancellation comes on the heels of this week’s sensational allegation from DonaldWatkins.com that Alabama Power’s new CEO Jeff Peoples allegedly spent up to $30,000 a month in corporate funds on hookers and party pads.
Reportedly, Alabama Power CEO Jeff Peoples had a propensity to spend up to $30,000 per month of the company’s money on party pads and black prostitutes at a time when this utility company was raising rates on its customers. These expenditures were reportedly funneled through … black subcontractors. None of this corporate misconduct was disclosed in the company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sources claim that King & Spalding was unprepared for the alleged accounting fraud tied to the hookers and cost overruns at Vogtle and Kemper.
King & Spalding was following the alleged web of corruption, bribes, deceptive misconduct and inappropriate relationships with law enforcement including disgraced ex-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite’s secret deal with ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town.
Southern Company will need to hire a forensic accounting firm to review what their independent accounting firm Deloitte and Touche missed and overlooked.
Sources claim that Southern Company is trying to resolve the extreme turmoil and chaos at the utility giant, obtain a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and hit the reset button before the change of command in two weeks.
Outgoing Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning wanted to have a smooth transition, but multiple complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by victims of Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise have ended that dream.
The rocky transition and controversies swirling around the company have now spilled over. Beyond law enforcement and regulatory probes, Southern Company has now garnered the attention of national media.
As Southern Company desperately seeks resolution and a reset, observers agree that if the sensational allegations are true, then Alabama Power CEO Jeff Peoples needs to be immediately terminated.
And regardless of what criminal misconduct he may or may not know, Joe Perkins, the shadow president of Alabama Power and the Oompa Loompa of Alabama Politics, and his affiliated entities need to be fired now, today, this very moment.
Who will lead the charge? Fanning? incoming CEO Chris Womack?
Sources close to Southern Company have anonymously reached out to us describing the troubling turmoil that has beset the unholy alliance of Balch & Bingham, Matrix, LLC, and Alabama Power.
In the past two weeks, the alliance appears to be imploding, and leaks from the C-Suite on down are providing a flood of stunning information and alarming activity.
Shortly after King & Spalding was hired last year to probe the spying on and surveillance of Southern Company Chairman and CEO Tom Fanning and his then-girlfriend in 2017, Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite had a heated exchange at a high-level meeting with “Sloppy Joe” Perkins, the founder of Matrix, LLC and the Oompa Loompa of Alabama Politics.
According to anonymous sources, Crosswhite allegedly demanded that Perkins come clean and tell King & Spalding the truth about the Fanning surveillance and other alleged criminal acts last fall.
Crosswhite allegedly was done with the diminutive consultant. But Perkins, who allegedly has dirt and an embarrassing dossier on every member of the executive team, barked at Crosswhite, telling himto “pack your bags!”
Perkins appears to have orchestrated Crosswhite’s ouster and preserved his million-dollar consulting contracts by allegedly aligning closely to Jeff Peoples, and allegedly spearheading a campaign of support for Peoples by heavy-hitters from the Alabama political and business community, before Peoples was announced as Crosswhite’s stopgap replacement.
Those heavy-hitters allegedly called Fanning and Southern Company board members persuading them to appoint Peoples as CEO of Alabama Power.
Peoples is seen as a loyal stooge for “Sloppy Joe” Perkins by Alabama Power insiders.
Perkins, who recently has been strutting around like a miniature horse at Alabama Power headquarters, appears to feel he is untouchable and the shadow president of Alabama Power.
Last fall, Jim Kerr, the Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel at Southern Company, and the King & Spalding investigative team recommended that Crosswhite immediately cancel both contracts with Perkins and his affiliated entities worth over $2.2 million a year.
Anonymous insiders tell us that Perkins, whose bruised ego appears to generate out-of-control behavior, is allegedly trying to retaliate against Kerr, who was promoted to Chairman and CEO of Southern Company Gas to take effect the end of this month.
Now anonymous sources claim that Crosswhite is cooperating with federal investigators, outlining all the immoral, unsavory, and criminal acts associated with Perkins and his entities in return for a full immunity deal.
Recent documents leaked to media appear to show that Perkins is an alleged habitual and prolific liar, especially his denial that he was not involved with the surveillance of Fanning.
Crosswhite could testify about Perkins direct involvement and also testify to the alleged head-on car accident that nearly killed Burt Newsome.
Newsome infuriated Alabama Power when he took on the rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal case, ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s $75 million civil lawsuit against Balch & Bingham and Drummond Company.
Crosswhite, eight years as Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power, knows where the decomposing corpses are buried.
In addition to Crosswhite’s cooperation, Alabama Power insiders believe Peoples’ history of allegedly creating a hostile work environment for African Americans and women, alleged inappropriate relationships with Southern Company employees, and alleged misappropriated expenditures on party pads, will soon begin leaking out with documented evidence, thereby, forcing Perkins and his hand-picked stooge Peoples out onto the curb, like a miniature horse and his cowboy.
The explosive report includes an email exchange between Matthew W. Bowden, the former Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Alabama Power and Steven G. McKinney, the former Balch & Bingham partner who was indicted and later acquitted during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial.
[AJE] was an Alabama Power Company-inspired creation.
McKinney explained to Bowden that AJE was the entity that former Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite “preferred” to deal with the company’s North Birmingham Superfund cleanup problem in 2015.
In his March 18, 2015 email, McKinney told Bowden that AJE is the “special purpose 501-c-6 entity Mark [Crosswhite] preferred over having BBA [Birmingham Business Alliance] respond to EPA’s expanded Superfund theories and GASP’s Toxic City campaign. The Alliance for Jobs and the Economy.”
The AJE was set up to launder over $360,000 in bribes to former State Representative Oliver Robinson who was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for his corrupt acts.
We, the CDLU, have learned that the email exchange, among thousands of documents, was provided to the U.S. Department of Justice under subpoena during the criminal investigation of North Birmingham but disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town allegedly buried it, ignored it.
Southern Company chaos was also seen in a third major shuffle of executives at the utility.
This time the management changes took place at Alabama Power with the promotion of four women, including Alexia Borden, who we expect will be the next CEO of Alabama Power after stopgap appointee Jeff Peoples is ousted or forced to retire.
Borden has smartly distanced herself from her former employer, Balch & Bingham, and yesterday’s announcement affirmed the same thing she brilliantly did in 2017, refused to name Balch by name, with the announcement saying, “Prior to joining Alabama Power, Borden was a partner with a law firm in Montgomery and Birmingham.”
From prestigious to egregious, Balch is being erased.
Is Southern Company finally getting ready to erase Balch, Matrix, and “Sloppy Joe” Perkins and hand over all the hard evidence as part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement?
Chase T. Espy, the ex-Balch & Bingham attorney who attempted to solicit a child online for sex in 2021 and pled guilty to possession of child pornography last year, was sentenced yesterday morning to 97 months in federal prison and was taken into federal custody immediately afterwards.
Espy, who at one time represented client Southern Company, joins ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert in the federal prison system. Gilbert is serving a five-year sentence for money laundering and bribery in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal, born at the offices of Balch & Bingham.
Federal Judge Annemarie Carney Axon threw the book at Espy. After Espy serves his eight-year prison sentence, Judge Axon doubled his supervised release term from the recommended 10 years to 20 years.
Espy’s sentencing is undoubtedly causing fallout for Southern Company which is embroiled in numerous regulatory controversies and litigation.
Southern Company unbelievably utilizes Balch to represent them and their subsidiaries before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). With the enormous cost overruns and constant delays of Vogtle Reactors 3 and 4, the relationship between Southern Company and the three other co-owners has soured tremendously.
All three have sued Southern Company. They have had enough of the bull.
We are sure Ogelthorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities won’t like the fact that Southern Company is using a tarnished and embattled law firm and an alleged participant in a criminal RICO enterprise to represent Vogtle’s interests before the NRC.
Michael L. Smith, the CEO of Ogelthorpe Power, will surely not want to be associated with a law firm tied to bribery, money laundering, and sex crimes against children.
And we are sure the commissioners and staff at the NRC are stunned that Southern Company has allowed an alleged unscrupulous law firm with two convicted felons in prison to make presentations and appear before the NRC on behalf of Southern Company.
The NRC should immediately revoke any and all nuclear licenses held by Southern Company since the criminal RICO enterprise is a threat to national security.
And former NRC Chair Kristine L. Svinicki should resign immediately from the Southern Company Board of Directors and quickly distance herself from Espy and the child pornography scandal.
Does Svinicki really want to be associated with this racket of pedophiles and money launderers?
Espy, who is now a registered sex offender, was arrested by local authorities in August of 2021 for soliciting a child. The online “child” actually was an undercover local law enforcement officer.
According to authorities, there were approximately 69 videos and four images of child sexual abuse material located on Espy’s cellphone including two involving toddlers, 20 depicting penetration, three depicting humiliation, and 29 involving masturbation.
The total number of child sexual abuse material images for sentencing purposes was 5,178.
Espy’s plea deal described the repulsive, graphic, and disgusting images and videos. (We wanted to literally throw up when we read the document last fall.)
In August of 2021, when Espy was arrested, we, the CDLU, reached out to the U.S Department of Homeland Security which investigates child trafficking and exploitation.
We debriefed them on how Balch & Bingham had changed their WiFi IP address just weeks before Espy was terminated in September of 2020.
Balch foolishly announced that they had terminated Espy almost a year before he was arrested. Espy had worked at Balch & Bingham for eight years.
Did Balch know about Espy’s sick perversion? Was there a possible cover-up? During his eight-year tenure, were any children exploited by Espy while he was working at Balch? Did Espy solicit children or download kiddie porn using Balch’s Wi-Fi, or Balch servers or computers at any time during those eight years?
We believe, after reading the plea deal, that this was not Espy’s first time at the rodeo. We hope and pray there were no young victims.
Now the NRC, Vogtle co-owners, and Professor Svinicki need to rise to the occasion and shut down the appallingbehavior and alleged criminal misconduct tied to Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise and their paid stooges and goons, which at one point included a sexual predator of children. Good Lord!
The latest question from Southern Company insiders is: When will Jeff Peoples be ousted?
The appointment in January of Jeff Peoples as Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power after Mark A. Crosswhite’s abrupt ouster during Thanksgiving week in 2022 is seen as a stopgap appointment in that Peoples, 63 at the time of his appointment, has mandatory retirement at 65 years of age.
Peoples has maintained the extremely controversial relationship with “Sloppy Joe” Perkins, the founder of Matrix, LLC, the consulting firm that engaged in alleged unethical if not criminal misconduct and whose entities received over $2.2 million a year in compensation without the need to invoice. Peoples has also kept embattled law firm Balch & Bingham on retainer.
Perkins, the Oompa Loompa of Alabama politics, has been seen at the headquarters of Alabama Power allegedly acting like a miniature-sized kingpin, beaming as if he owned the place.
At this juncture, the Southern Company cannot terminate its business relationship with Joe Perkins. Why? Perkins has a mountain of documented “dirt” on Southern Company senior management executives which could result in criminal charges and jail time for many of them.
For example, the “Homewood Notes” Joe Perkins made during an April 6, 2017, meeting with a top Southern Company executive and others document part of a sophisticated, multi-state accounting fraud scheme and ongoing racketeering enterprise….
Perkins’ notes suggested that Nancy Sykes, then-Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Southern Company Services, James Gravie, then-Senior Vice President in Human Resources for Total Rewards and Technology, and Jeff Peoples, then-Executive Vice President of Customer and Employee Services at Alabama Power Company, could submit an “anonymous complaint” to the Southern Company board of directors that “would require an investigation” into the matters discussed during the April 6th meeting. According to the plan that was pitched during the meeting, they would “mention [Mark] Crosswhite in the complaint.”
Matrix used a private investigator named “Derreck (sic)” (meaning, Derek Uman) to do “research” on Kim Tananka (sic), Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning’s then-girlfriend (whose correct name is Kim Tanaka). The participants believed the anonymous complaint “need[ed] more intel” on Ms. Tanaka. Interestingly, Ms. Tanaka was an innocent party who held no position in any Southern Company business entity at the time she was targeted for clandestine surveillance activities.
Peoples never filed any such complaint with the Southern Company board of directors, or with anyone else.
Sloppy Joe Perkins has maintained that he was not involved in the surveillance of Tanaka or Fanning.
Uman, founder of Clear Capture Investigations of Gainesville, Fla., staked out Fanning’s Atlanta home and photographed him running on a wooded hill on a cul-de-sac leading to his secluded house. Uman followed and videoed Tanaka, gathered photos and billed then-Matrix CEO [Jeff] Pitts $6,881.55 for surveillance, travel, meals and more. Uman addressed the invoice to Pitts.
Uman, who said he has done lots of work for Matrix, refused to talk about the content of his investigation, saying that would be illegal. He did confirm the authenticity of the report, and said the invoice “was paid with a Matrix check that was signed by Joe Perkins.”
Perkins said most Matrix checks are signed electronically and that he believed Matrix did not pay the invoice, which was directed to Pitts.
“I have never communicated with that man,” Perkins said. “I don’t know what check he has, but I don’t sign most of the checks that come out of the companies. They are automatic signatures. That’s just untrue.”
Later, Perkins said he had staff search Matrix records for a payment to Clear Capture in that amount and found none. Nor did they find any copies of the invoice provided to AL.com.
“Let me be clear, neither I nor Matrix had anything to do with the Tanaka surveillance,” Perkins said. “The Tanaka surveillance was contracted and overseen by Jeff, without my permission or knowledge.”
The handwritten notes appear to show that Joe Perkins assigned several tasks in red ink to J.P., Jeff Pitts, Perkins’ once-protégé and the ex-CEO of Matrix.
Perkins has consistently told media that Pitts was a “rogue” employee who engaged in activities without his knowledge.
The notes appear to contradict Perkins.
Sex and Photographs…
The surveillance of Tanaka and Fanning was allegedly to obtain photographic evidence that Fanning was bisexual, according to sources familiar with the surveillance that occurred in 2017.
Photographs of Fanning having relations with a boy toycould have been used to oust him or even blackmail him to resign.
Fanning was highly vulnerable in 2017 with two Southern Company boondoggles: the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia and the Kemper Project in Mississippi both of which had cost overruns in the tens of billions.
And the handwritten notes published by Watkins proves unequivocally that both boondoggles were being used to attempt to manipulate senior leadership.
In closing, we ask:
What other photographs capturing embarrassing moments or sexual misconduct do Matrix or related entities have or not have?
Why is Peoples kowtowing to Perkins?
Will the King & Spalding probe force both Peoples and Perkins out?
As the criminal predicated acts of the RICO enterprise are reviewed, new evidence is emerging.
The genesis of this blog was the Newsome Conspiracy Case and now a key defense in the case has been confirmed as a lie.
Repeatedly, under oath and in court pleadings, Balch & Bingham alleged they did not know who Alfred W. Seier III was.
Al Seier was the individual who pulled a gun on Burt Newsome in 2012, and declared vulgarly, “This is last time you are going to f*** with my wife!”
Newsome had spearheaded a legal collection effort against Seier’s wife Sharon Lawson.
In 2018, we uncovered explosive evidence that Balch had indeed interacted with Al Seier at least six months before the Newsome Conspiracy Case started.
We wrote at the time:
According to these public records, Alfred Seier was one of three initial members of a company called Southshore Development, LLC. Alfred Seier, who pulled a gun on Burt Newsome in January of 2012, is the late brother of alleged co-conspirator Claiborne Seier, an attorney who was handling his brother’s affairs.
And who did Southshore Development, LLC interact with in 2010 to amend their mortgage? Balch & Bingham.
And who did Southshore Development, LLC interact with in July of 2011 to provide a full release of the mortgage? Balch & Bingham.
While Balch may not have known who the principals of Southshore Development, LLC were, they indeed knew who Al Seier was, according to new evidence.
Eight months after Newsome had filed suit against Sharon Lawson, Balch filed suit against Al Seier as an individual on behalf of Compass Bank in a complicated collection effort.
The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been formally asked to investigate Kristine L. Svinicki, a Board Member of Southern Company and former NRC Chairman, for “any direct or indirect communication” between Svinicki and the NRC after she was appointed a member of Southern’s Board in October of 2021.
As Chairman of the NRC, Svinicki is restricted from contacting or communicating with the regulatory body under federal law, even if the communication was done through the embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, which represents Southern Company before the NRC.
An employee or member of a federal regulatory agency who participated personally and substantially in a particular matter involving a specific party… may never appear before or communicate on behalf of another with any federal department, agency, or court regarding that same particular matter. 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.
Yesterday, Svinicki was elected member of the Board of Directors of Pinnacle West Capital Corp., the large utility holding company in Arizona, that operates three nuclear reactors. Unlike Southern, Pinnacle’s appointment comes more than two years after she left government service.
Jeff Guldner, CEO of Pinnacle, stated, “Her vast experience in the nuclear energy industry and in government will be of great value to our company, not only from the perspective of our nuclear operations at the Palo Verde Generating Station, but also as we take advantage of opportunities in our evolving utility business.”
Will Svinicki announce her resignation from the Southern Company Board of Directors shortly?
King & Spalding was hired with a seven-figure retainer to look at the criminal RICO enterprise including the inappropriate relationship between disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and ousted Alabama CEO Mark A. Crosswhite who are accused of obstructing justice in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.
Now, sources claim that the deferred prosecution agreement that King & Spalding is allegedly seeking includes alleged criminal misconduct at the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant and alleged criminal findings by an FBI probe surrounding the Kemper Plant in Mississippi.
Both boondoggles have cost Southern Company billions in cost overruns and tarnished the utility’s reputation with gross mismanagement.
In May of 2019, Southern Company acknowledged there was an FBI probe of the Kemper Plant. The Atlanta-Journal-Constitution wrote at the time:
Southern… reported in a quarterly filing that it could not determine the outcome of the investigation but that it ultimately might prove significant enough to materially affect the parent company’s financial disclosures to investors.
A Southern spokesman emailed The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday that, “As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment beyond what we provided in our filing.”
Sources claim that Southern Company is furiously conducting financial audits of both the Vogtle and Kempler cost overruns to complement the report by King & Spalding to be used to argue for a deferred prosecution agreement.
However, multiple victims of Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise have lodged formal criminal complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice and have asked to be consulted and advised before any deferred prosecution agreement is reached.
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.
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.
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 anotherwith 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:
1) Whoever engages in the conduct constituting the offense shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both.
2) Whoever willfully engages in the conduct constituting the offense shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both.
Although Svinicki would most likely not be sent to prison, the fine is defined as a “civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each violation or the amount of compensationwhich the person received or offered for the prohibited conduct.”
Svinicki appears to be in hot water. Boiling hot water.
Not a peep about the numerous victims who have lodged criminal RICO complaints against Southern Company with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Not a cheep about the demand for evidentiary hearings by RICO victims and the possible license revocation of Southern Company by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Not a chirp about the Matrix Meltdown and hiring of King & Spalding last year to conduct a deep internal criminal probe and secure a deferred prosecution agreement.
Not a chitter about the coming civil RICO lawsuits or law enforcement investigations including the $8.4 million settlement in December with the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged fraud and false claims in Puerto Rico by a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company.
The earnings call yesterday was a spectacle of concealment.
Strangely, the Southern Company’s pattern and practice of concealing adverse information of a material nature from its shareholders and Wall Street analysts paves the way for the company to join the ranks of Enron, Worldcom, HealthSouth, and other publicly trade companies that engaged in similar corporate concealment conduct since 2003.
Nothing good ever comes out of corporate concealment conduct where there is a duty to timely disclose material events of an adverse nature.
Besides the concealment, the earnings call revealed that yet again the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant will be delayed a couple more months at an estimated cost of $200 million.
And who will pay for the boondoggle delays?
Rate payers of course.
The Associated Press reports:
Ratepayers at Georgia Power and some cooperatives served by Oglethorpe are already paying for Vogtle, and most electric customers in Georgia, as well as in parts of Alabama and Florida, will eventually be charged.
Last year, the Alabama Public Service Commission rubber stamped three Alabama Power rate increases with no debate, no thought whatsoever.
The $400 million generated annually by the rate increases in Alabama will easily pay for Vogtle’s cost overruns and the estimated $345 million in litigation settlement costs with two co-operators of Vogtle (Oglethorpe Power and Dalton Utilities) who have sued Southern Company.
The public is outraged by higher utility bills, and will now clearly see the facade, the concealment, and the deception.
Yesterday before Southern Company’s earnings call, CDLU Chairman Ernesto Pichardo called on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to revoke and suspend all licenses granted to Southern Company, including those tied to the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant, calling the company’s racketeer influenced and criminal organization a “national security threat.”
“At a minimum, the NRC should hold evidentiary hearings. Ironically or intentionally, Southern Company is represented by Balch & Bingham before the NRC. A former Balch partner who represented Southern is sitting in federal prison for money laundering and bribery, while another ex-Balch attorney who represented Southern will be sentenced next month for possession of graphic and repulsive kiddie porn,” noted Pichardo.
Randall Woodfin, the embattled Mayor of the City of Birmingham, who made $1.8 million magically disappear in “legal advertising,” had an emergency crisis meeting with his most trusted advisors to allegedly try to cover up and block a federal investigation into corruption and embezzlement, sources claim.
Sources also claim Woodfin advisors approached Alabama Power to see if the utility could intervene and use their high level contacts to block or slow down the probe.
Alabama Power allegedly refused, due to the fact that their parent company (Southern Company) is attempting to secure a federal deferred prosecution agreement and is under intense scrutiny at the moment, in addition to a quarterly earnings call to take place tomorrow.
Magician Woodfin appears to be another political puppet who was propped up by Alabama Power, Balch & Bingham, and the entire Southern Company criminal RICO enterprise.
The largest transaction in the alleged theft was for $1.14 million on August 20, 2020 for a batch of past due invoices for “legal advertising.”
The money was deposited with JJ Lewis Investments, LLC and not with the Birmingham Times Media Group.
Sources claim that Woodfin and team are allegedly attempting to cover-up the theft by blaming a now-former JJ Lewis Investments employee, who was abruptly let go after our report, and other sources claim has since become a federal witness.
Scrutiny of Southern Company and their criminal RICO enterprise has increased as multiple victims have lodged formal criminal complaints and provided damning evidence to the U.S. Department of Justice in recent weeks.
The criminal RICO enterprise, involving Southern Company (and its subsidiaries), Balch & Bingham, Matrix LLC, and others, has made the operation of the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant by Southern Company a liability and risk to national security.
In a letter dispatched to the three other joint operators of Vogtle Nuclear Reactors 3 and 4, Civil Rights champion Ernesto Pichardo, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CDLU, wrote, “Frankly speaking, we are not against nuclear energy, nor are we opposed to the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant. Our opposition is to Southern Company, a racketeer influenced and criminal organization, that should have no business running nuclear power plants in the United States.”
The three other joint operators are Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. Pichardo also let the trio know that Southern Company had hired King & Spalding last year to conduct a deep internal criminal probe.
The reception to the Pichardo’s letter insiders tell us was warmly received. The other joint operators appear to despise Southern Company whose mismanagement has delayed the project by six years with cost overruns of $16 billion.
Pichardo’s letter included attached articles about the ouster of Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite, the abrupt resignation of disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, and the guilty plea of registered sex offender and ex-Balch attorney Chase T. Espy for possession of kiddie porn.
Pichardo closed his letter, saying, “There is a lot to read but the facts speak for themselves: Southern Company is unfit to run Vogtle.“
The letter comes on the heels on multiple complaints to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice about Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise and misconduct.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is currently reviewing the misconduct and criminal acts affiliated with the criminal enterprise.
While Southern Company attempts to obtain a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Southern Company could be removed or ousted as operator of Vogtle.
Some cannot believe this scenario and they are the same ones who couldn’t believe that the “most powerful man in Alabama” Mark A. Crosswhite would ever be ousted.