Duke Energy Corp. has reached a private settlement with John Deeds, a former employee who claimed he was fired in retaliation for questioning millions of dollars in payments that he considered kickbacks to corporate clients.
The utility, which provides electrical generation and natural gas to parts of Ohio, faces a separate antitrust lawsuit over the allegations. The company has said the payments were made under legitimate option agreements that guaranteed business from large customers such as Procter & Gamble, General Motors and General Electric.
Since 2005, Duke paid roughly $22 million per year to the companies in question. During that time, rates for residential customers increased by 30%. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed.
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