Judge punts on dismissal of SCE&G lawsuit

WINNSBORO – A Circuit Court judge declined to rule last week on a request by SCE&G to dismiss an injunction against the utility that was filed by the county.

The case came before Circuit Judge John C. Hays early in the day in the Fairfield County Courthouse. However, because the judge said he felt it was a complicated case, he wanted to think about it and deferred it until the end of the day.

When the case came up later in the afternoon, he once again declined to hear the case.

“I’m going to punt. I’m going to let another judge take this,” Hays said. “I think I’m going to contact the Supreme Court justice and ask that one judge be assigned to all SCE&G cases.”

“Other than that, there was not a whole lot of comment about our case,” Fairfield County Administrator Jason Taylor told The Voice. “It was not a ruling. He did not hear the case. He said he did not have the time to deal with this,” Taylor said.

“This is a prolonging of the process now, to have another judge hear it,” Taylor said.

The county filed the lawsuit on Nov. 21, 2017, against SCE&G/SCANA and any other necessary parties based upon SCE&G/SCANA’s failure to comply with the terms of the fee-in-lieu contract between SCE&G/SCANA and the county, and to also file a temporary restraining order to prevent SCE&G from abandoning the project and not protecting the assets at V.C. Summer.

“The council owes it to the citizens of our county to do whatever we can to recoup the financial losses created by SCE&G’s decision to abandon the project,” County Council Chairman Billy Smith said. “The county is not looking for any kind of financial windfall. We just hope that this litigation can get our county closer to the position it would have been in had SCE&G acted in good faith, diligently completed these projects and not chosen to abandon the construction of the plants.”

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