Embroiled in a federal corruption scandal, FirstEnergy Corp. continued to clean house this week with the firing of SVP and Chief Legal Officer Robert Reffner and VP, General Counsel, and Chief Ethics Officer Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah.
The moves, effective Sunday and disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday, follow the appointment of Steven Strah as the company’s active CEO in late October. An independent review committee under the board of directors terminated former CEO Charles Jones for violations of the company’s policies and code of conduct.
The shakeup comes amid a federal investigation into a racketeering conspiracy in Ohio that resulted in the state’s Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, and four others being arrested and charged by the Department of Justice in July. The conspiracy allegedly involved $60 million being paid to an entity (Generation Now, which was also charged) to pass and uphold a billion-dollar nuclear plant bailout. The bill directs more than $1 billion in state subsidies to nuclear power plants formerly owned by a FirstEnergy subsidiary.
Neither FirstEnergy nor its executives have yet to face charges in the scheme, though federal charging documents allege the company and its affiliates are behind the $60 million bribe.
In addition to the aforementioned departures, the company also terminated its SVP of product development, marketing, and branding and its SVP of external affairs. Christopher Pappas was named executive director of the board, and Leslie Turner was appointed by the audit committee of the board as chairperson of a new subcommittee to assess and implement potential changes as appropriate in the company’s compliance program.