Damning Report by Inspector General Exposes the Truth About TVA’s Luxury Jet

After watchdog groups raised questions about the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) purchase of seemingly unnecessary and exorbitant aircraft, TVA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report summarizing its own audit of the purchase and use of two of TVA’s most recent luxury toys, a 2015 Cessna Citation 560 XLS+ jet and a 2015 Beechcraft King Air 350i. Strangely missing from this TVA OIG audit is a review of the second jet, a 2017 Cessna Citation 560 XLS+ and a EC 145 Mercedes-Benz style helicopter, both purchased under CEO Bill Johnson’s “life style of the rich and famous” tenure at TVA. The OIG audit clearly shows that TVA could not justify the 2015 purchase of one jet, and yet Johnson went out and bought a second jet in 2017.

In the audit the majority of justifications communicated by TVA executives for the 2015 jet purchase were systematically shown to be imaginary at the best and dishonest at worst. These purchases follow a growing pattern of extraordinary salary and bonuses paid to TVA’s top executives including CEO Bill Johnson as the highest paid Federal employee in the nation current receiving over $6.5 million dollars annually.

The OIG findings come on the heels of a TVA proposal to increase costs for residential and small business customers, adding fixed fees to already inflated residential small business rates that have been increased over the past few years as TVA gave large industrial customers big rate cuts.