Governor, Top Duke Energy Officials Met Privately, Refuse to Say Why
Once an employee, always an employee apparently applies to Governor McCrory. A new report by WRAL has uncovered that in June of last year, in the midst of lawsuits and McCrory publicly claiming to 'hold Duke Energy accountable," top Duke officials met for dinner with the Governor, and neither side will talk about why.
But on June 1, while in the midst of pressing legal action against and issuing news releases critical of the nation's largest utility, top state officials met for a private dinner at the Executive Mansion with Duke executives, according to calendar entries and other records reviewed by WRAL News.
McCrory, his top environmental regulator, his chief of staff and his general counsel attended, as did Duke Chief Executive Lynn Good, the company's general counsel and the president of the company's North Carolina operations.
Beyond general statements that environmental policy and job creation were topics of the meeting, neither state officials nor a spokeswoman for Duke have been willing to provide details of the discussion. The conversation came close on the heels of the state fining the company for pollution violations, during legal wrangling over coal ash pollution and while pending legislation on renewable energy and the state's response to federal clean power rules was debated at the General Assembly.
In response to a public records request, the Department of Environmental Quality said Secretary Donald van der Vaart neither received an agenda for the meeting nor recorded the discussion in any way. A similar request to the Governor's Office yielded only emails and calendar entries arranging the meal and the meeting, but officials say there were no emails or other documents detailing what topics were discussed or why exactly the meeting was called.