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State Utilities Commission Hires Chicago Law Firm

Some new legal minds will be taking a look at the controversial Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger.

Gurnal Scott: The North Carolina Utilities Commission has hired a law firm to help in its investigation of the Duke Energy merger. Commissioners have retained Jenner and Block a firm based in Chicago. The commission held several hearings within the past month hoping to find out why a CEO switch was made after Duke Energy's acquisition of Raleigh-based Progress Energy was completed. The law firm is led by Anton Valukasdescribed as a veteran federal prosecutor. Valukas and his colleagues will be able to supplement the investigation by requesting internal documents and deposing key players. The cost of Jenner and Block's services under state law will be billed to Duke Energy. The utilities commission said recently that its continued investigation into the merger could take months to complete.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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