The CEO of Exelon Utilities abruptly retired amid questions about the company's lobbying activity and connection to Martin Sandoval, a Democratic Illinois state senator at the center of a vast federal corruption investigation.
The company made the announcement about CEO Anne Pramaggiore's retirement Tuesday.
“We thank Anne for her valuable service to Exelon and ComEd and the important contributions she made to enhance our utility operations throughout her tenure,” Exelon CEO Christopher M. Crane said. “Over the past several years, including under her leadership, Exelon’s utilities have continued to achieve high levels of reliability and record levels of customer satisfaction, while implementing industry-leading strategies for the future of our utility business."
The public utility announced last week it had received two federal grand jury subpoenas related to the investigation into Sandoval.
According to a warrant unredacted by the Illinois State Senate last Friday, federal investigators were searching for anything tied to “ComEd, Exelon, any employee, officer or representative of any of those businesses, Exelon Official A, Exelon Official B, Exelon Official C, Exelon Official D, and/or any issue supported by any of those businesses or individuals, including, but not limited to, rate increases.”
Sandoval’s daughter, Angie, works for ComEd as a senior account executive.
In 2016, the Illinois General Assembly agreed to electricity rate hikes to bail out two ComEd nuclear power plants in the state. It's unclear if the FBI investigation is related to the bailout.
The corporation named Calvin G. Butler Jr., CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, as interim CEO, effective immediately.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing our millions of customers with clean, affordable and reliable energy and outstanding service,” Crain continued. “We are confident this will be a smooth transition for all Exelon stakeholders, including our customers, employees, communities and shareholders.”
The unredacted warrant released last week also lays out a broad investigation into Sandoval's dealings with a video gambling company, a red-light camera company, an asphalt contractor, and state and municipal officials.
According to the unredacted warrant, agents were searching for "items related to any official action taken in exchange for a benefit," also known as a kickback.
In May, federal agents also raided the homes of former ComEd lobbyist Mike McClain, House Speaker Michael Madigan's former political operative Kevin Quinn, and former Chicago Ald. Michael Zalewski. Each has close relationships with and political ties to the powerful House speaker.
Part of that raid focused on payments McClain and other lobbyists for ComEd made to Quinn after Madigan was forced to fire him following allegations of sexual harassment. The Chicago Tribune has also reported that the FBI sought communications about attempts to get ComEd to give lobbying work to Zalewski.