Saturday, December 14, 2013

Small Excerpt from Michael Skelly Testimony at the ICC

Below is just and exert from Michael Skelly's cross examination by Illinois Landowners Alliance attorney, Bill Shay, at the ICC.  I was reading his testimony and had to stop and attempt to write something, then I gave up and went back to the transcript.  This lawyer's argument to the judge says it perfectly.  The idea of a speculation project's manager profiting directly from the sale of a right of way easement is quiet troublesome.  

The idea of eminent domain being used to acquire the easement with the manager potentially getting what amounts to a bonus from the sale once the easement is acquired just doesn't sit well with me. 
It's profiting from a land grab. 

MR. SHAY: Your Honor, the purpose of this is -- stems from the fact that this is a new entrant, as we've heard again this morning, into this industry. It's asking for a significant certificate from this Commission to occupy a major project in the state across many miles of farmland, and I think the Commission and the rest of us have a right to know to -- the extent to which Rock Island is likely to remain the owner of this project and operate it, as has been outlined in the testimony, or whether instead it might be sold to -- whether National Grid or some other unknown third party, and the extent to which Mr. Skelly might be incentivized through his arrangement with the company, I think, is relevant to that issue.


JUDGE JONES: How much more questioning do you have on this line?

MR. SHAY: Well, depending on the answers, it might just be one or two.

JUDGE JONES: How much more do you have after that? I think you had an estimate of 20 minutes. There's been very few objections. So I'm just kind of curious as to where you are there.

MR. SHAY: Yeah. I know it's been -- it's been difficult. I think that's -- we're in the -- we're in the homestretch. Just a few other minor ones. And I could hold off on the others that are kind of unrelated to this line until after lunch.

JUDGE JONES: Well, I think we're trying to get to lunch, but we're trying to rely on those cross estimates, and this one was 20 minutes, and we're probably crowding an hour on that.

MR. SHAY: Yeah.

JUDGE JONES: So I'm just trying to get a feel for where we are. I'm not really inclined to break your cross, which would just probably aggravate the situation if we did that. Well, in any event, there's an objection pending. I'll overrule the objection and allow the question. Do you need it read back?

A. Yeah, please. So can you repeat the question?

MR. SHAY: I thought the reporter was going to read it back to you.

COURT REPORTER: Well, I'm looking for it.
(The requested portion was read back by the court reporter.)
MR. SHAY: That's correct.
A. If it was at the right price? "Right price" presumably means a profitable price?

Q. (By Mr. Shay) Yes.
A. Okay. So let's say ComEd decides to pay us a billion dollars for the project.

Q. That's a great example.
A. Okay. I think that I would -- I'm quite confident that I would benefit from that. I honestly do not recall exactly how because, as I mentioned, I signed the employment agreement four years ago and I haven't looked at it since.

Q. Okay. And just to finish up this line, you are an owner of limited liability company units in Clean Line Energy?
A. Right.



Q. Okay. Can you say about how many -- without violating confidences -- or percentage ownership that you might have?
A. Oh, it's a very -- very small. Like, low single digits.

Q. Okay.
A. And getting smaller.

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