PRESS RELEASE: Behavioral Analysis by QVerity Foreshadows Duke Energy’s Plea of Guilty to Environmental Crimes

PRESS RELEASE: Behavioral Analysis by QVerity Foreshadows Duke Energy’s Plea of Guilty to Environmental Crimes


GREENVILLE, N.C. – May 15, 2015 – QVerity Inc. today responded to the announcement on Thursday that Duke Energy has pleaded guilty in federal court to environmental crimes stemming from coal ash leakage from dumps at five North Carolina power plants. Phil Houston, QVerity’s CEO, said the announcement, which he characterized as an important development in the resolution of the coal ash issue, was unsurprising.

“Our behavioral analysis of a 60 Minutes interview with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, which we released on December 19, 2014, concluded that Ms. Good had exhibited significant deceptive behavior in contending that the system was operating safely,” Houston said. “It was clear from our analysis that Duke Energy was likely aware that the system was, in fact, creating an environmental hazard. It was really only a matter of time before Duke Energy would be compelled to acknowledge that.”

The 60 Minutes interview, which aired on December 7, 2014, focused on a spill in February, 2014, that poured an estimated 30,000 to 39,000 tons of coal ash into North Carolina’s Dan River. That spill sparked the investigation that ultimately led to Duke Energy’s guilty plea to nine misdemeanor counts involving violations of the Clean Water Act. The company will pay $102 million in fines and restitution for the illegal activity.

“It was clear to us from the 60 Minutes interview that Duke Energy’s strategy was to buy time by calling for more environmental studies to be done,” Houston said. “As we wrote in our analysis, it was evident from Ms. Good’s behavior that Duke Energy’s aim at that time was likely to do and spend as little as possible in fulfilling its obligation to render the sites safe. Unfortunately for Duke Energy, the clock ran out in a Greenville federal courtroom on Thursday.”

QVerity’s behavioral analysis of the 60 Minutes interview with Ms. Good is available at

Bryan Stevenson, Vice President, Business Development
(252) 670-2831

Founded by former CIA officers who are experts in deception detection, critical interviewing, and direct elicitation, QVerity provides training and consulting services for public- and private-sector clients worldwide. The company’s principals are the authors of The New York Times bestsellers “Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception” and Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All.” QVerity is privately held, and is headquartered in Greenville, N.C. For more information, visit