Washington Energy Report > Troutman Sanders LLP

Solyndra Executives Refuse to Testify Before House

On September 20, 2011, Brian Harrison, and W.G. “Bill” Stover, Jr., asserted through counsel their intention to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution at a September 23, 2011 hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  Harrison is currently Chief Executive Officer of Solyndra, Inc. (“Solyndra”) and Stover is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. 

Also on September 20, 2011, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) requested additional information on the “financial condition” of the 14 recipients that are about to be receive $9 billion in stimulus loan guarantees by September 30, 2011. The Committee leaders wrote to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and expressed concern that the “rush to meet stimulus deadlines will result in the [Department of Energy] closing these deals before they are ready.”

Solyndra announced its intent to file for bankruptcy on its website on August 31, 2011, stating that “[r]egulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion. Raising incremental capital in this environment was not possible. This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate.”  On September 8, 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigations executed a search warrant at Solyndra’s facilities, and the United States Department of Justice is conducting an investigation into Solyndra.  The House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is examining the $535 million loan guarantee granted to Solyndra by the Department of Energy, beginning with a hearing titled “From DOE Loan Guarantee to Bankruptcy to FBI Raid:  What Solyndra’s Executives Knew.”

A copy of Harrison and Stover, Jr.’s letters to the House are available here.

A copy of the Committee leaders’ letter is available here.