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3rd official to plead guilty in S.C. nuclear debacle

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 8:31 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Court documents show a former official for the contractor hired to build two South Carolina nuclear reactors that were never completed will plead guilty to lying to federal authorities.

Carl Churchman was the Westinghouse Electric Co. project director for the failed plant that cost ratepayers and investors billions of dollars.

Authorities say Churchman lied about whether he communicated with utility executives on completion dates for the reactors.

Utility executives swore construction was on track to keep regulators approving rate increases and maintain support from investors, even though the project fell behind.

Two top-level executives have already pleaded guilty in the multi-year federal fraud investigation.

Former SCANA Corp. Executive Vice President Stephen Byrne agreed last summer to tell investigators everything he knows about the lies and deception SCANA and its subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas used to keep regulators approving rate increases and maintain support from investors.

Kevin Marsh, SCANA’s former CEO, signed a plea deal on felony fraud charges in November.

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