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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Jim Kerr Attempts to Flee the Southern Company

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on May 4, 2023

IMAGE: Southern Gas Company CEO James Y. "Jim"Kerr, II (center), talks with two of his employees in April of 2023.

James Y. “Jim” Kerr, II, was Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning’s executive vice president, general counsel, chief of compliance officer, and chief of staff from 2014 until March 31, 2023.


On January 5, 2023, the Southern Company announced that Jim Kerr would assume the position of chairman of the Board of Directors, CEO, and president of the Southern Gas Company, effective on March 31, 2023.


Commencing on January 28, 2023, we have exposed: (a) a long-running racketeering enterprise, (b) a massive $27 billion accounting fraud scheme, and (c) a recent “hush money” scandal in an exclusive series of articles. These unlawful acts have caused a meltdown at the Southern Company. They have also turned the place into a towering inferno.


What is more, a number of state and federal criminal complaints have been filed against the Southern Company and its executives since January 27, 2023.


Again this backdrop, Jim Kerr is attempting to flee his new CEO job at the Southern Gas Company.


Last month, Jim Kerr quietly submitted his resumé to the executive search firm of Korn Ferry, a management consulting firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Korn Ferry offers executive job placement services for senior management executives who are looking for better employment opportunities.


This means Jim Kerr is looking for a new executive job. Yes, Kerr is fleeing the inferno he helped to create at the Southern Company.


Why is Jim Kerr Trying to Flee the Scene of the Crimes?


As you can see in the feature photograph that accompanies this article, black employees comprise the vast majority of Southern Gas Company’s workforce.


On March 24, 2023, we published a very revealing article about Jim Kerr that included a secret audio recording in which Kerr revealed himself as an elite racist who did not give a damn about the pain, suffering, plight, illnesses, and death of the Southern Company’s black customers who were hopelessly trapped in a North Birmingham neighborhood where toxic pollutants poisoned the air, ground, and water.


The audiotape of this 2018 conversation between Kevin B. Forbes (referred to as "K.B." on the audiotape), who is a human rights and environmental justice advocate, and Jim Kerr is presented below. The audiotape is damning and speaks for itself.

After we "outed" Jim Kerr as a racist, black employees at the Southern Gas Company wanted to have no association with him.


During the first week of April, Jim Kerr worked hard to endear himself to the company’s black employees. You can see Kerr’s attempts at endearment in the photos below.

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However, Jim Kerr’s words on the audiotape and his actions in the North Birmingham situation overshadowed his phony attempts at endearment and his self-serving “wokeness” makeover at the Southern Gas Company.


The company’s black employees are not buying it. They saw beyond Kerr’s fake smiles, hand-holding, and hugs while he was prancing around in their faces. They have judged Kerr by his words on the audiotape and his hostile actions toward the company’s black customers in North Birmingham. These customers had their environmental justice rights willfully suppressed by a cold and calculating Jim Kerr for the benefit of the Southern Company, Alabama Power Company, and their business alliance partners.


Jim Kerr has a history of lulling Southern Company employees into a false sense of trust and security -- only to betray them down the road. This is exactly what happened to Gulf Power Company executives and employees in early 2018 when Kerr lulled them into believing the Southern Company was not selling Gulf Power to Florida’s NextEra Energy. Once Kerr gained their trust, he betrayed these executives and employees by engineering the sale of Gulf Power to NextEra Energy in 2018-2019.


Despite Kerr’s many job titles and his ruthlessness at the Southern Company, he is perceived as “toxic” today because of his overt racism, as captured on the audiotape, and his outright dismissal of the environmental justice rights of the company's black customers in North Birmingham.


Kerr Betrayed Thomas Fanning, As Well


Jim Kerr is the trusted friend who secretly betrayed Thomas Fanning in April of 2017 by greenlighting a coup d’état to oust Fanning as CEO of the Southern Company and replace him with Mark Crosswhite, the former CEO of Alabama Power Company. In return for Kerr’s covert support of Crosswhite in the planned coup d’état, Crosswhite agreed to designate Kerr as the CEO of Alabama Power.


The corporate coup attempt is documented in the “Homewood Notes” presented below.

The attempted coup included a surveillance campaign that targeted Fanning and his then-girlfriend, Kimberly A. Tanaka. The coup plotters tried to videotape Fanning engaging in an alternative lifestyle, which they planned to use to force his resignation as CEO. The plotters conducted the surveillance over a long period of time, but were unsuccessful in documenting the lifestyle behavior that they believed Fanning practiced.


In June of 2022, the surveillance campaign was revealed to Ms. Tanaka by a Bloomberg reporter, who did not publish an article about it. We exposed this spying campaign publicly for the first time on August 3, 2022.


On December 21, 2022, National Public Radio published a feature article that provided more details regarding the surveillance campaign.


The exposed surveillance campaign resulted in a “hush money” scheme in which Southern Company funds were used to buy Ms. Tanaka’s silence. The “hush money” was laundered through a third-party vendor.


Fanning Has Mentally Checked Out of His CEO Job


Thomas Fanning is scheduled to retire on May 24, 2023. Because of the racketeering activities, the accounting fraud scheme, and “hush money” scandal, Fanning has mentally checked out of his CEO job.


Fanning's sole focus now is on securing and protecting his retirement compensation package, which is valued at up to $100 million dollars. This package is tainted by the accounting fraud scheme, but Fanning is hoping to pull off one more “con job” on his board of directors before he leaves the company for good.


Anyone, including members of the Southern Company's board of directors, who knowingly aids or abets Thomas Fanning in getting his tainted retirement package out of the company will be deemed an accomplice.


Meanwhile, the conduct of the Southern Company, Thomas Fanning, Jim Kerr, and other participating executives and vendors is the subject of criminal and regulatory complaints pending with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney’s Office, and the Roswell, Georgia Police Department.


Stay tuned for more blockbuster developments in this raging Southern Company scandal!


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