The law firm hired to investigate claims of bid-rigging at LP&L says there was no illegal activity during the bid process.
Johnny Sutton, a partner with Ashcroft Sutton Ratcliffe, LLC, addressed the Electric Utility Board on Tuesday afternoon. He provided a summary of his findings and a detailed packet of everything the investigation uncovered.
"We focused on the allegations, the criminal behavior and the allegation of if something had gone wrong in the process," Sutton said. "We focused on the leak information. We also focused on the RFP and whether the process injured the RFP process moving forward."
LP&L hired a law firm to investigate the company after allegations of bid rigging in the RFP or Request For Proposal process for a new power plant. Members of the Electric Utility Board believed one company was getting preferential treatment during the process. The Ashcroft law firm began their investigation in November of 2013.
"We came into Lubbock on two occasions, stayed a number of days, interviewed a number of LP&L employees. Everyone was extremely cooperative and extremely forthright," Sutton said.
"After interviewing numerous witnesses and looking at a lot of documents there was no evidence of any criminal behavior on the part of Lubbock Power and Light staff. We found no evidence of any personal gain on the part of any Lubbock Power and Light staff member and we found that the process they put in place was very fair and confidential."
The next step for the Electric Utility Board is to take Sutton's findings and decide what to do with the RFP process. They can say that last summer's events didn't affect the bids and continue with the same companies and bids that are in place, or they can start from scratch.
"We have a lot of work to do," said EUB chairman Greg Taylor. "We've got to move forward in assessing what we're going to do for 2019 and we have a lot of fresh eyes on the project. We've got to go through this and get going."
Taylor says the EUB will have a work session in the near future where all of those topics will be put on the table.
"We will be assessing that as we go forward, just exactly where we are," he said. "We want to assure the citizens of Lubbock that we're doing the best we can as LP&L to keep the lights on."
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