Updated 07/20/2012 10:48 PM
Duke exec testifies in NC Utilities Commission hearings
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RALEIGH -- The woman who fired Bill Johnson after 20 minutes on the job as CEO at the new Duke Energy is testifying to the North Carolina Utilities Commission Friday.
Ann Maynard Gray, lead director for Duke energy, says the Duke board lost confidence in Johnson's leadership during the first half of this year.
Gray testified that directors began to grow uncomfortable with Johnson after two meetings in 2011 which she described as "marginally successful." Gray testified that Duke directors had significant concerns about Progress-owned nuclear plants and the board didn't think Progress provided ample information about those plants. She also said Johnson's leadership style was controlling and did not encourage outside opinions.
But, Gray rejected the notion that Duke directors misled state regulators about the plan to replace Johnson before the merger closed .
"Until we made the decision and actually had a vote on July 2, there was no decision to inform you of," she said.
Gray tried to delay her testimony until next month and in documents filed with the commission Gray said she would testify if called, but thinks the line of questioning is "unwarranted."
The utilities commission will wrap up two days of hearings Friday afternoon. Regulators have the authority to rescind the merger, or impose new fines or conditions on Duke Energy.