Records: Ex-CEO won’t face charges in nuclear fraud case

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The previous high govt for the contractor employed to construct two South Carolina nuclear reactors that had been by no means completed gained’t face legal costs, new courtroom paperwork present.

Former Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick was beforehand a topic of the federal investigation into the failed multibillion mission and is now a authorities witness, in accordance with the data unsealed final week that had been first reported by The Put up and Courier.

The paperwork point out Roderick may testify in opposition to his former worker Jeff Benjamin, a fired Westinghouse vice chairman who’s going through a number of federal felony costs tied to the 2017 debacle that price ratepayers and buyers billions and left practically 6,000 individuals jobless.

Westinghouse was the lead contractor within the mission to construct the reactors on the V.C. Summer time web site in Fairfield County. South Carolina Electrical & Fuel Co. father or mother firm SCANA Corp. and state-owned utility firm Santee Cooper spent practically $10 billion on the mission earlier than halting building in 2017 following Westinghouse’s chapter.

Within the aftermath, prosecutors have focused high officers on the corporations, saying they lied to buyers, regulators and ratepayers as they sought fee hikes, insisting the costly mission was on schedule even because it fell hopelessly behind.

Three executives have already pleaded responsible within the multi-year federal fraud investigation to date. Benjamin, the fourth, has maintained his innocence and will go to trial subsequent 12 months. He may resist 20 years in jail and a $5,000,000 nice if convicted.

Roderick gave the FBI incriminating details about Benjamin in two interviews earlier this 12 months, prosecutors mentioned in courtroom filings. Roderick mentioned Benjamin lied to him concerning the mission schedule and had created a “tradition of worry” with an “insufferable” administration fashion.

The paperwork outlining Roderick’s cooperation are half an effort by prosecutors to disqualify Roderick’s earlier legal professional from representing Benjamin.

William Sullivan was representing each males on the identical time when prosecutors first tried to get him eliminated final 12 months, arguing it was a battle of curiosity as both defendant would possibly activate the opposite. Roderick ultimately obtained a brand new lawyer earlier than sitting down with investigators.

Prosecutors nonetheless need Sullivan disqualified from the case, noting that Sullivan “can not correctly count on to cross-examine his personal former consumer in protection of his present one,” they wrote.

Sullivan has produced paperwork exhibiting that each Roderick and Benjamin have permitted the association.

Roderick “has explicitly acknowledged that he’s unaware of any legal culpability of Mr. Benjamin,” Sullivan wrote in an emailed assertion to The Put up and Courier.

Roderick’s new legal professional, Whit Ellerman, declined to remark to the newspaper.

The nuclear mission failure additionally spurred a number of lawsuits and a probe by state lawmakers.

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