By Rich Heidorn Jr.
NERC announced Monday that its Board of Trustees had accepted the resignation of CEO Gerry Cauley, effective immediately, following his arrest for domestic abuse.
The organization said General Counsel Charles Berardesco will continue to serve as acting CEO while the board seeks a search firm to recruit a replacement.
“NERC has a talented staff and an experienced leadership team that is well-equipped to continue the forward momentum on key initiatives,” Board Chair Roy Thilly said in a statement. “I am confident we will continue to meet milestones and expectations going forward. NERC remains committed to maintaining the reliability and resilience of the bulk power system.”
A NERC spokeswoman declined to comment when asked whether Cauley would receive any severance payment. “Any personnel action is confidential,” she said.
NERC had placed Cauley on a leave of absence after his arrest for battery, a misdemeanor, for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife in the early morning of Nov. 10. The police report documenting his arrest states that his wife, Jean Cauley, sustained bruises and scratches and was experiencing a great deal of pain in her back.
The report quoted Jean as saying he attacked her after she discovered him having cybersex with a “young female employee of his.” (See Cauley Arrest Tied to Relationship with NERC Subordinate.)
Jean, a former probation officer and child abuse investigator for the state of Florida, posted a comment about the incident on her LinkedIn page Sunday: “Who knew that when I married a CEO — and me with a background in law-enforcement — [I] would be a victim of a violent crime by her husband to the point of a back being broken,” she wrote. “It shows that no one is exempt from domestic violence and that we should all support each other as women.”
Cauley, 64, had served as NERC CEO since January 2010, and was often the face of the reliability agency in hearings before FERC and Congress. By Monday afternoon, however, his biography and photo had been removed from the web page listing the organization’s management.