- Gerry Cauley has stepped down as CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corp., following his arrest nearly two weeks ago on charges of misdemeanor battery and family violence.
- E&E News reports Cauley was arrested after he "grabbed his wife and pushed her into a bathtub," following revelations he was involved in a relationship with a NERC employee.
- NERC’s Board of Trustees announced yesterday the organization had accepted his resignation and appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel Charles Berardesco, while a new chief is sought.
NERC officials expressed confidence in the organization's leadership following Cauley's resignation, but the search is on for a replacement following disturbing allegations he turned to violence against his wife after her discovery of some kind of inappropriate work relationship. The two are reportedly divorcing, and Cauley was living in the basement at the time of the incident.
“NERC has a talented staff and an experienced leadership team that is well-equipped to continue the forward momentum on key initiatives. I am confident we will continue to meet milestones and expectations going forward," Board Chair Roy Thilly said in a statement Monday. “NERC remains committed to maintaining the reliability and resilience of the bulk power system.”
Cauley's arrest came just before NERC completed its biennial GridEx exercise, aimed at shoring up the power grid's cyber and physical defenses.
E&E News has details of the arresting documents, including that Cauley was involved in an online relationship with a "young female employee of his." Upon being discovered, the site reported Cauley pushed his wife into a wall and into a bathtub, where she sustained injuries. Cauley was released on a $2,400 bond.
NERC's board of directors indicated it would engage a search firm to support recruitment of the next CEO.
Berardesco is now serving as acting CEO. He joined NERC in 2012 as senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, is a member of the board of trustees and leads the executive management team. Prior to joining NERC, Berardesco was senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief compliance officer of Constellation Energy.
Correction: A previous version of this post misidentified when Gerry Cauley was arrested.