Whistle-Blower suit against Duke Energy heads to trial

John Deeds, former director of regulatory initiatives for Duke Energy, won Round 1 of his whistle-blower lawsuit against the utility.

Deeds claims he was fired in April 2006 after questioning whether payments Duke Energy made to certain large customers were “sham transactions” intended to buy support for rate increases. Duke Energy has countered that such “side deals” are perfectly legal—and private, too.

So far the utility has managed to keep the transactions in question under tight wraps, repelling at least one attempt to subpoena them.

Duke claims Deeds is a disgruntled employee who lost his job when Cynergy merged with Duke in March 2006.

An Ohio court ruled Deeds will have his day in court.