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Exelon CEO talks corruption probe, executive’s sudden departure

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In the company’s first earnings call since news broke about it being called to testify in a federal probe and the sudden exit of one of its long-time top executives, Exelon’s leader sidestepped a number of questions about the controversies, but said the company would take steps to address any problems.

Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane told investors “we’re taking all the actions that are necessary to ensure we can put this behind us,” in an earnings call Thursday.  

The hour-long call began with Crane, after highlighting the profitable quarter, directly addressing the two grand jury subpoenas the company had received regarding its lobbying practices in Springfield.

“These subpoenas and the speculation about what’s behind them have dominated the news about Exelon and ComEd,” Crane said. “Given that the investigations are ongoing, we cannot discuss many details, but I’ll tell you this. When we learned of these investigations, we pledged complete cooperation with the government and that is the path we have taken. The company’s outside lawyers are undertaking an exhaustive investigation of the facts relevant to the subpoenas. A special committee of the board represented by its own outside counsel has also been formed and is being briefed on the investigation.” 

The Chicago-based corporation is widely-known to employ some of Illinois’ most powerful lobbyists and has enjoyed favorable legislation because of it. 

Most recently, the Future Energy Jobs Act was enacted, sending hundreds of millions of dollars to two of Exelon’s facilities to help them modernize and maintain operation. 

Exelon executives would not say if the investigation was limited to Illinois. 

Investors asked Crane a number of follow-up questions about whether or not the company would know anything more soon, whether the investigation would put future legislation it is seeking in jeopardy, and questions about the potential closure of four Illinois nuclear plants. Those questions were largely met with non-answers, with Crane noting that the company cannot comment on an active investigation.