Could Gov. McMaster fire the entire Board of Directors at Santee Cooper? One lawmaker says it’s possible

Berkeley County News

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Could Governor Henry McMaster fire the entire board of directors at Santee Cooper?

That’s what Senate pro tem Hugh Leatherman said would happen if certain actions are taken in a letter to the state-owned utility’s CEO.

The letter, which followed another from the executive director of South Carolina’s Department of Administration, brings up concerns related to this Memorandum of Understanding that Santee Cooper just signed with Southern Power Company.

The MOU was signed by both parties on August 29th. Santee Cooper and Southern Power Company will work together to perform operations and planning analysis.

Marcia Adams, the executive director at the state Department of Administration sent a letter to Santee Cooper CEO Mark Bonsall on August 31st, saying she is hearing that Santee Cooper is entering into agreement “with one or more investor-owned utilities that include terms and arrangements that would potentially subvert the process set forth in the joint resolution.”

 The Department of Administration is in charge of gathering information on several options, including a possible sale of Santee Cooper.

On September 2nd, Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman sent a letter requesting Santee Cooper not enter into any agreement that would limit the General Assembly’s options.

He ended with, “in my opinion such actions would be grounds for board removal if the governor so chooses.”

The next day, on September 3rd, Bonsall responded with a letter stating the MOU with Southern Company is for one year only and is being used to help Santee Cooper identify ways to make the organization more efficient.

He said Southern Company has agreed not to participate in a potential purchase or management agreement.

Santee Cooper board chairman Dan Ray sent Leatherman a letter backing up Bonsall’s letter, and stating the board instructed Bonsall to take these actions.

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