Why This Westinghouse Official Is Going To Jail. Should Senator Rankin Join Him?

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David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

Carl Churchman, 70,  the Westinghouse official who helped oversee the construction of a now-abandoned $9.5 billion dollar V.C. Summer nuclear plant failure was charged Monday with the felony offense of lying to an FBI agent.

As the State Paper reports: Churchman will plead guilty to the offense, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, according to records filed in federal court on Monday.

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A one-page charging document said that Churchman falsely told an FBI agent that he was not involved in communicating how the project was going to SCANA officials.

In fact, Churchman — who was managing the project for Westinghouse — was communicating “with colleagues from the Westinghouse Electric Corporation through multiple emails in which they discussed the viability and accuracy of (completion dates) and thereafter, he reported those dates to executives of SCANA and Santee Cooper during a meeting held on Feb. 14, 2017,” the charging document said.

Scanna executives have since been convicted and charged.

Questions remain as to whether the Santee Cooper Board and Senate Oversight Chairman, Luke Rankin should join these charged and indicted officials with their own sentencings?

Clearly, they all knew and they were all in this together.

David Singleton
Singleton and Rankin were and remain private business partners

As we reported last September, David Singleton, a Santee Cooper Board member, recommended to the board by Senator Luke Rankin has land ties with the senator. The two are, in fact, business partners. 

If Westinghouse was communicating with Singleton, it is implausible to believe Rankin was unaware of the doomed project.

In a seven-page plea agreement also filed Monday, Churchman has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. This is key if officials, including Rankin and Singleton are to be indicted.

In a 2016 interview with the S.C. Biz News during a media event, Churchman told a reporter he was optimistic about the SCANA nuclear project. “We’ve reached a pivotal point here on the project. … We’re no longer a project that’s just now a civil structure project, but we’re a project now that’s installing reactor vessel, reactor cooling equipment. It’s a very exciting time.”

As the State Newspaper reports:

In February, 2017, SCANA issued a press release saying that Westinghouse was “committed to completing” the two nuclear reactors in time to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of federal tax credits SCANA was trying to get by completing the project in a timely fashion.

In March 2017, Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy.

Four months later, on July 31, 2017, SCANA and its junior partner, the state-owned utility Santee Cooper,stunned the South Carolina political and business worlds in announcing they were abandoning the project.

How could Singleton and Rankin not have known?

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