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220 ILCS 5/4-604.5
(220 ILCS 5/4-604.5)
Restitution for misconduct.
(a) It is the policy of this State that public utility ethical and criminal misconduct shall not be tolerated. The General Assembly finds it necessary to collect restitution, to be distributed as described in subsection (e), from a public utility that has been found guilty of violations of criminal law or that has entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement that details violations of criminal law that result in harm to ratepayers.
(b) In light of such violations, the Illinois Commerce Commission shall, within 150 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, initiate an investigation as to whether Commonwealth Edison collected, spent, allocated, transferred, remitted, or caused in any other way to be expended ratepayer funds in connection with the conduct detailed in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement of July 16, 2020 between the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and Commonwealth Edison. The investigation shall also determine whether any ratepayer funds were used to pay the criminal penalty agreed to in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement. The investigation shall determine whether the public utility collected, spent, allocated, transferred, remitted, or caused in any other way to be expended ratepayer funds that were not lawfully recoverable through rates, and which should accordingly be refunded to ratepayers and calculate such benefits to initiate a refund to ratepayers as a result of such conduct. The investigation shall conclude no later than 330 days following initiation and shall be conducted as a contested case, as defined in Section 1-30 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.
(c) If regulated entities are found guilty of criminal conduct, the Commission may initiate an investigation, impose penalties, order restitution and such other remedies it deems necessary, and initiate refunds to ratepayers as described in subsection (b). Such investigation and proceeding may commence within 150 days of a finding of guilt. Any funds collected pursuant to this subsection shall be distributed as described in subsection (e). The Commission may order any other remedies it deems necessary.
(d) Pursuant to subsection (e), the investigation shall calculate a schedule for remittance to State funds and to ratepayers, over a period of no more than 4 years, to be paid by the public utility from profits, returns, or shareholder dollars. No costs related to the investigation or contested proceeding authorized by this Section, restitution, or refunds may be recoverable through rates.
(e) Funds collected pursuant to this Section, for the purposes of restitution, shall be repaid by the public utility as a per therm or per-kilowatt-hour credit to the public utility's ratepayers as a separate line item on the utility bill.
(f) No public utility may use ratepayer funds to pay a criminal penalty imposed by any local, State, or federal law enforcement entity or court.
(g) Any penalties, restitution, refunds, or remedies provided for in this Section are in addition to and not a substitution for other remedies that may be provided for by law.
(Source: P.A. 102-662, eff. 9-15-21.)