SCANA chief Kevin Marsh says the utility’s directors did not fire him over the weekend and he has not resigned his position with the embattled utility.
Meanwhile, S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas said Monday the SCANA executive should quit.
In a company email dated early Monday, Marsh said media reports that he had been removed “are not true.’’
“The board did not take any action over the weekend to remove me or any other members of management,’’ the email said. “Neither I, nor any member of senior staff, have been terminated, nor have any of us resigned or retired.’’
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The email encouraged utility workers “to remain focused on your jobs and do not allow yourself to be distracted by speculation in the media. As we disclosed publicly last week, we are continuing efforts to pursue a comprehensive settlement addressing the recovery of costs related to the abandonment of the new nuclear project.’’
Marsh has faced withering criticism and calls for his ouster since Cayce-based SCANA, the parent company of SCE&G, said July 31 it would abandon building two new reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station that the utility and its state-owned partner, Santee Cooper, had been working on for much of the past decade.
The companies collectively spent $9 billion on the effort, billing ratepayers at least $2 billion for the reactors, which now will not be built.
The State reported Saturday that three sources said SCANA’s directors had ousted Marsh and nuclear officer Stephen Byrne, making them the Cayce-based utility’s first executives to fall in the aftermath of the bungled project.
SCANA denied Saturday that Marsh had been ousted. A spokesman declined further comment then. An effort to reach SCANA early Monday was unsuccessful.
Questions about Marsh’s future with SCANA have intensified following the departure of Santee Cooper utility chief Lonnie Carter, who announced his resignation in late August.
Despite Marsh’s denial that he’s been removed, House Speaker Lucas, R-Darlington, said Monday the SCANA executive should quit. He said that neither S.C. ratepayers nor House members “have faith in SCANA under Marsh’s leadership.’’
“SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh should resign immediately,’’ Lucas said. “This measure should have occurred long before now and without pressure from elected officials.’’
State Rep. James Smith, a Richland Democrat running for governor, agreed “new leadership is needed and Mr. Marsh should resign.”
Meanwhile, state Rep. Kirkman Finlay said Marsh’s “I’m still in charge” email was a sign of misplaced priorities.
“He’s worried about losing his job and not about losing $450 million in revenue,” Finlay said, pointing toward the room where House members were discussing the proposal to block SCANA from charging its customers more for its failed nuclear project. “Clearly, he is focused on the wrong issues.”
Speaker calls for SCANA CEO to resignation
S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas’ statement Monday:
“SCANA’s mismanagement of the V.C. Summer nuclear facility has proven that the company cannot be trusted to promote or protect its consumers’ interests. On behalf of the South Carolina ratepayer, I believe SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh should resign immediately. This measure should have occurred long before now and without pressure from elected officials. Throughout the House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee’s study, it has become increasing clear that neither South Carolina ratepayers nor the South Carolina House of Representatives can have faith in SCANA under Marsh’s leadership.”