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Breeze - Courier, Taylorville, Illinois
$149 million in refunds demanded from
Friday, February 25, 2005
Springfield, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Attorney
General Lisa Madigan's office has said state utility
regulators violated Illinois' open meeting law when
they attended a private lunch with Peoples Energy
executives last month.
Illinois Commerce Commission chairman Ed Hurley was
informed this week by a Madigan attorney that the
commission may have broken the state's Open Meetings
Act because two of the four ICC members were present
at the lunch.
Madigan's office also said it may have been illegal
for Hurley to have allowed the Peoples executives to
purchase the lunch even though Hurley reimbursed
them with a personal check.
"I think my hand has been slapped, apparently,"
Hurley said Thursday.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month that the
lunch occurred just days after a utility watchdog
group filed paperwork with the ICC demanding $149
million in refunds from Peoples Energy for alleged
overcharges to Chicago-area cnsumers.
The two commissioners at the lunch, Edward Hurley
and Lula Ford, are among four ICC members who
ultimately must decide whether to order refunds.
Hurley and Ford have said the case was not discussed
during the lunch.
Hurley and Ford dined with Jerry Fox, Peoples' vice
president for administration, and Sammy Fiorella,
Peoples' manager of state regulatory affairs, at a
Chicago restaurant on Jan. 10, Hurley's 51st
Senior Attorney General Michael Luke wrote in a
letter to Hurley that the luncheon raised questions
questions about whether ICC members are being
"unduly influenced" by the utility.
Luke said the lunch was not consistent with the
state's Public Utilities Act, which prohibits
commissioners from accepting gifts from utilities
and utilities from offering gifts to commissioners.
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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