A case involving a key manager at Mississippi Power Co’.s Kemper County clean-coal plant who had been taken to court in Birmingham by the utility’s parent has been dismissed.
To keep Brett J. Wingo from going public with information about the plant — which the company said would do it great harm — the Southern Co. succeeded in getting a gag order imposed on him on Feb. 19.
A week later, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Elisabeth French granted an extension of the order till Thursday.
But the hearing was canceled the day before. Pat Case, a judicial assistant in the court, said French granted the “stipulation for dismissal” by the Southern Co. on Wednesday. The motion had no explanation.
Efforts to contact the attorneys for the Southern Co. on Thursday were not immediately successful.
Wingo was representing himself.
Eddie Curran, an Alabama-based blogger, noted on his website that dismissal was done without prejudice, meaning the company can go after Wingo.
“Today’s filing certainly suggests that there has been no settlement reached and/or finalized between Southern Company and Brett Wingo,” Curran wrote.
The plant has encountered major construction cost overruns — its initial price of $2.8 billion has risen to $6.2 billion — and operational problems.
A lawsuit challenging a rate increase for customers of Mississippi Power was upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court in February and a refund was ordered. Mississippi Power has appealed the ruling.
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