Two days ago, former CLECO employee Patrick LaCour “reported” on his website, The Naked Utility (members only), bombshell news that CLECO was being sued by the US Department of Justice for anti-trust violations. Quoting:

The Naked Utility just received word that the U.S. Department of Justice has brought an anti-trust lawsuit against Cleco. Details are sparse at the moment, but the lawsuit is in relation to Cleco’s sale of its wholesale power plant in Eunice, LA.

Yesterday, Mr. LaCour back-tracked from his initial report. Apparently, the DOJ didn’t sue CLECO, but LaCour still claims the DOJ has “announced” an investigation of CLECO. Quoting, from an e-mail from Mr. LaCour to Mr. Aymond (who also reported on the alleged “lawsuit” against CLECO) (bold mine):

The goal of The Naked Utility is to inform our readers of utility industry news that would otherwise be unavailable. I received the info from a credible source and I’ll chalk any need for a clarification up to the breaking nature of the story. Although the DOJ did not announce a lawsuit, it has announced a formal investigation. However, Cleco could ensure that its shareholders, ratepayers and the general public have accurate news by actually sharing this news with the public. Of course, if Cleco did that, there would be no need for The Naked Utility.

For what it’s worth, the Department of Justice has issued no such announcement. If such a public record actually exists, then I hope that it will be made available by those publishing and republishing these accusations.

If true, this would be gripping, bombshell news, but considering the absence of supporting documentation and sources, I seriously question Mr. LaCour’s credibility and wonder why he publicly leveled accusations that he cannot properly back up or reference.

The Department of Justice has not “announced a formal investigation” into CLECO.

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