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Attorneys want $100 million SCANA fee

Ratepayers' attorneys may split $100 million from the SCANA settlement among themselves.

According to the Office of Regulatory Staff, the settlement will give the 11 plaintiffs' attorneys 5% of $2 billion - that's $100 million.
An equal split of that would amount to $9.09 million each.

The attorneys listed in the settlement documents are Pete Strom, Jr. Mario Pacella, former SC House member Bakari Sellers, Jessica Fickling, Terry Richardson, Daniel Haltiwanger, Matthew Nickles, Dan Speights, A.G. Solomons III, Edward Bell and James Ward, Jr.

SCANA attorneys agreed to that fee as it would come from a $115 million fund set aside for executives who would be let go if Dominion takes over SCANA, according to a source close to the issue.
The executives will still be paid by Dominion and the cost may be passed on to ratepayers in future rate hikes, according to the source. 
About 600 other SCE&G employees in Lexington County would be let go but without that kind of severance pay.

All of this depends on Circuit Court Judge John Hayes and the Public Service Commission approving the settlement and a Dominion Energy takeover of SCANA and its SC Electric & Gas subsidiary.

SCANA attorneys agreed to these terms because their bosses will still get a contracted $115 million golden parachute, according to the source.

Instead of ratepayers receiving rate cuts under the settlement, 727,000 of them may end up paying for those golden parachutes in an added $9 a month in higher electric rates for 20 years or $2,160 each.
That would give Dominion a total of $1.57 billion in ratepayers' fees. 

Other sources say they expect the PSC to approve a Dominion takeover with a $9 a month rate increase for 20 years, especially after House Speaker Jay Lucas recommended it.
Full details on how competing lawyers rigged the settlement in their favor in next week's Chronicle.


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