City Joining Plaintiffs' Side in Lawsuit Against PMPA

Daniel Prince

Greer and Rock Hill claim PMPA is in default of its agreements; City of Union and others disagree

As WBCU News informed you following the November City Council meeting, the City of Union is joining the plaintiffs’ side of the lawsuit against Greer, Rock Hill, and the PMPA. According to City Administrator Joe Nichols, the city believes that all that remains to be decided in the lawsuit is the interpretation of the contracts and the billing from PMPA. He said they believe the billing is correct. If found not to be correct, the cost for power to the city and to Clinton would skyrocket, as they would have to go to full ownership of the unit.

According to attorney Chad Johnston with Willoughby & Hoefer Law Firm, the plaintiffs have filed a consent motion to amend the complaint. The original lawsuit came about following the June 2019 meeting of the PMPA Board. The consent motion states, “Since initiating this action, Plaintiffs have received further and additional information provided to Plaintiffs by Defendants Clinton and Union suggesting that there was no conspiracy and that there were no agreements by the Defendants to sell or buy votes, enter into illegal agreements, or otherwise participate in the engagement of commercial bribery, or other actionable activity of the kind described by the Plaintiff, the Affidavits, and Ex Parte Motion. Further, Plaintiffs hereby acknowledge that certain conclusions and assumptions in the Adams Affidavit (which had been submitted by Dr. Gregory B. Adams, Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law) were based on incomplete facts and are hereby withdrawn as a result of that subsequent information.

In the consent motion, the plaintiffs moved to withdraw the causes of action pled in the complaint and Ex Parte motion, and the facts alleged to support the causes of action for Ex parte emergency and injunctive relief with respect to the June 20, 2019 meeting of the PMPA Board of Directors. They also moved to withdraw the causes of action and alleged supporting facts for conspiracy to buy votes in an attempt to subvert the governance process and breach of fiduciary duty.

After those items were struck from the lawsuit and the public record, the City of Union and Clinton joined the lawsuit on the side of the plaintiffs. The amended complaint specifically deals with Greer’s and Rock Hill’s allegations that the PMPA is in default of their Catawba Project Power Sales Agreement and Supplemental Power Sales Agreement. The plaintiffs say that all parties have been involved in setting rates, fees, and charges for electric power, energy, and other services provided by PMPA and have been voted upon and adopted by the PMPA Board. They say the PMPA has charged the participants only the rates that have been duly approved and adopted by the Board. They say the PMPA is not in default of its responsibilities and obligations in their agreements with Rock Hill and Greer. They seek for a judge to rule that the PMPA accurately calculated its monthly bills that were submitted to Rock Hill and Greer in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and that the PMPA is not in default of its agreements with Rock Hill and Greer.

WBCU News will be following this complicated case and bring you more details as it progresses.

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