Meridian Star

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August 8, 2013

Miss. Power paying ex-president $150,000 a year

JACKSON — Even though Ed Day retired abruptly as Mississippi Power's president earlier this year, he's still getting paid.

Day is being paid $150,000 a year for three years as a consultant, according to a stock filing by the Southern Co., the Atlanta-based parent of Mississippi Power. That's in addition to his company retirement.

The agreement began May 20, when Day retired, according to the stock filing. It requires Day to be available up to four days each month to help Mississippi Power address lawsuits, government investigations or regulatory filings.

Ratepayers won't be paying for the agreement, said Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Posey. He said Mississippi Power officials have told regulators that the company won't seek to recover the money.

If Day worked the maximum number of days set out in the agreement, he would make $3,125 a day. That's about $390 per hour, if he worked eight hours each day.

"Ed's got 30 years of experience in the utility industry and we felt like with this agreement, we will be able to take advantage of that," said Mississippi Power spokesman Jeff Shepard, when asked about the amount Day is making.

Day left the company after more than $1 billion in cost overruns at the power plant the company is building in Kemper County, and amid allegations he withheld information from regulators. No results have been released from a PSC inquiry into Day's behavior.

Day was making an annual base salary of $418,454 before retirement. Ed Holland Jr., who replaced Day and had been Southern Co.'s general counsel, is listed as making a base salary of $652,133 per year.

The stock filing also included a separation agreement for former Vice President of Generation and Development Tommy Anderson. He left the company in April, though his official retirement date is listed as May 31. Shepard said Anderson received no additional money for signing. Anderson had been making a base yearly salary of $199,906.

It's not unusual for former Southern Co. executives to continue being paid under such agreements. When former Mississippi Power President Anthony Topazi retired as Southern Co.'s chief operating officer in July 2012, he agreed to a $1.7 million consulting contract with the utility that lasts through Dec. 31, 2013.

 

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