4901:1-34-05 Settlement agreements and stipulations.

(A) If staff and the natural gas company, retail natural gas supplier, or governmental aggregator reach agreement regarding any of the following: the violation of a rule within this chapter, or Chapter 4901:1-27 or 4901:1-29 of the Administrative Code, the violation of any provision of Chapter 4929. of the Revised Code, the violation of a commission order; a proposed corrective action or remedy; or the amount of a forfeiture or other payment, the agreement must be reduced to writing in a settlement agreement. Such agreement shall be signed by an officer of the company or its attorney and the assistant attorney general who serves as legal counsel for the commission staff. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (B) of this rule, the settlement agreement shall not be effective until:

(1) The stipulation is filed with the commission for approval pursuant to a compliance or other proceeding.

(2) The stipulation is approved by and made the order of the commission.

(B) If the settlement agreement provides for the payment of a forfeiture or other payment by a natural gas company or retail natural gas supplier of one thousand dollars or less, the agreement shall be accepted by the commission and fully enforceable upon the natural gas company or retail natural gas supplier upon its execution.

(C) Unless contained in or otherwise provided in a stipulation, no statement or conduct during settlement negotiations is admissible in any commission proceeding regarding the noncompliance.

(D) Where a natural gas company or retail natural gas supplier has demonstrated to the staff's satisfaction, as confirmed in writing from the commission's director of the service monitoring and enforcement department or the director of utilities department or his/her designee, that the violation(s) listed in the staff notice (or amended staff notice) of probable noncompliance or investigative report has been corrected and where the company submits full payment of the proposed forfeiture prior to the execution of a written settlement agreement or final commission order, the violation(s) listed in such staff notice of probable noncompliance shall only be considered by the commission as part of the company's history of violations in determining the appropriate forfeiture or corrective action for any future violation. If a company pays a proposed forfeiture of more than one thousand dollars without executing a written settlement agreement, the payment shall be fully effective when approved by and made the order of the commission.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.24 , 4905.54
Rule Amplifies: 4929.24 , 4929.01 , 4905.05 , 4905.06 , 4905.26 , 4905.54
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02