Commission rejects E. Dundee's ComEd complaint

Updated 3/28/2014 10:20 AM

The Illinois Commerce Commission has thrown out a $500,000 complaint East Dundee filed over a ComEd-owned easement that the utility blocked an auto auction business from using.

Besides the money, Village President Lael Miller also wanted the commission to overturn ComEd's refusal to let Insurance Auto Auctions, a business that sells wrecked vehicles to the highest bidder, use the easement on Commonwealth Drive. That was all in addition to attorneys fees and other unspecified damages Miller sought.


But the ICC sided with ComEd.

"The commission finds that the complaint should be dismissed, as complainant is not entitled to any of the relief it seeks under the Act, Commission regulation or Illinois case law," Administrative Law Judge John Riley wrote in an opinion dated Jan. 22.

Miller says he's just going to let it go.

"I'm not going to fight that, it's not worth it," Miller said.

ComEd refused to give IAA an easement on Commonwealth Drive due to environmental concerns it said it had with IAA's operation in Wheeling.

Miller alleged the utility was really caving to political pressure and filed his complaint against the rejection last July.

Barrington Hills residents launched a campaign against IAA in 2012 amid fears leaky fluids from the vehicles would pollute their groundwater. East Dundee approved the project over those objections last summer.

Robert Abboud, Barrington Hills' former village president, admitted he urged ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore and her husband, Michael Harrington, a trustee on the Barrington Hills village board, to deny access to the easement based on what he found at IAA's Wheeling site.

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In the end, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which Abboud contacted to investigate the Wheeling site, found no significant issues there.

ComEd has said politics had nothing to do with its refusal to grant the easement.

"The ICC dismissed the case and we think that is the right result," ComEd spokeswoman Liz Keating said.

East Dundee will now look to Heinz Road for the IAA easement. ComEd owns that as well, Miller said.

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