Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Exelon’s ComEd Hires New Top Lawyer as Bribery Suits Continue

Jan. 5, 2022, 11:00 AM

Commonwealth Edison, the largest electric utility in Illinois, has hired former Jenner & Block lawyer Glenn Rippie as its new general counsel as the company and parent Exelon Corp. look to turn the page on a bribery scandal.

Rippie, who worked as ComEd interim general counsel since August 2021, took over the role effective Jan.1. He will also be deputy general counsel for Exelon, focusing on matters with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the company said.

ComEd in 2020 admitted to bribery accusations and agreed to pay a $200 million fine to resolve a federal investigation.

The utilities have long had ties to the firm.

Exelon hired former federal prosecutor Gayle Littleton, then co-chair of Jenner & Block’s investigations, compliance and defense practice in Chicago, as its top lawyer in October 2020. She succeeded Thomas O’Neill as Exelon senior vice president and general counsel when O’Neill rejoined Jenner & Block as an energy and litigation partner.

Rippie was a partner at Jenner & Block for almost three years, starting in 2019, and worked in its energy practice. He previously co-founded boutique energy and infrastructure firm Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy, according to his LinkedIn profile.

ComEd said in a Wednesday announcement that Rippie has for decades advised the company on regulatory and other matters.

“Glenn’s strong background in energy law, combined with his deep understanding of the needs of our communities, will be instrumental,” Gil Quiniones, ComEd’s CEO, said in a statement. Quiniones said the company is working “to enhance service, innovate to meet new demands facing our industry, and continue reliably powering the needs of every resident, business and community.”

Bribery Fallout

Exelon admitted in 2020 that ComEd executives and lobbyists took part in an 8-year bribery scheme in which more than $1.3 million went to associates of an unnamed public official.

A shareholder lawsuit in Illinois alleges that the scheme resulted in a $6.6 billion loss to Exelon’s market capitalization and significant damage to its reputation. Davis Polk & Wardwell is defending the company in the suit.

James Clem, who filed the suit, said he went to court after Exelon’s board failed to respond in a timely manner to his demand for the company to take action against several officials, including Exelon CEO Christopher Crane and former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore.

Crane made false and misleading statements to investors and in the company’s 2019 proxy about its lobbying activities, according to the suit. The allegedly misleading information was material to shareholders in deciding whether or not to reelect some of the defendants, including Crane, to the Exelon board.

“Exelon’s ability to raise equity capital or debt on favorable terms in the future is now impaired,” Clem said in the complaint.

The complaint also named as defendants Joseph Dominguez, Exelon’s current CEO and a former ComEd official, and William Von Hoene, Jr., Exelon’s former senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer.

Another proposed shareholder class action has been filed against Exelon, alleging misleading statements related to the bribery scheme. A federal judge ruled in April that the litigation could move forward.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson at egolson1@gmail.com

To contact the editor on this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloombergindustry.com;
John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

To read more articles log in.

Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription.