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Santee Cooper extends executives’ contracts amid challenges

June 23, 2020 GMT

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s state-owned utility company extended the contracts of its two executives Monday amid continuing debate by state lawmakers on whether to sell or reform the company.

Santee Cooper’s board of directors voted to give Mark Bonsall, the CEO, and Charles Duckworth, the deputy CEO, a six-month extension with their current salary amount, The Post & Courier reported. The men will also be eligible for bonuses depending on their performance.

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Under the new contact, both Bonsall and Duckworth will serve at the company until July 2021 and continue to oversee its political and legal challenges.

State lawmakers have been debating the future of the state-owned company since it took on $4 billion in debt in the last decade for a minority stake in a failed project for a pair of nuclear reactors that never generated power.

In March, a judge also gave preliminary approval to a $520 million settlement that would provide refunds to Santee Cooper Utility customers who were charged increased rates for the nuclear construction project.