Cobb EMC: Checks due; thanks, too
July 30, 2014 04:00 AM | 6674 views | 6 6 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The checks are in the mail, or will be by the end of the week.

That’s not just the usual dodge, but the official word.

And it’s a day many thought would never come — probably no one more so than Butch Thompson and the late Bo Pounds, the lead plaintiffs in the class-action suit against local utility giant Cobb EMC.

Their 2007 suit claimed then-President and CEO Dwight Brown and other insiders were using the Marietta-based electric power co-op as a private piggybank. Brown later was indicted on 31 counts of criminal wrongdoing, including theft, racketeering, making false statements and conspiracy to defraud government entities. He has been out of jail on bond since July 2011, although no trial date has yet been set before Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert Flournoy.

The EMC board then in place fought the lawsuit tooth and nail and used delay and subterfuge to try to retain Brown but ultimately succumbed to pressure from the courts and members, who voted the old board members out and replaced them with a board that has made transparency a priority.

The court also ordered the EMC to divest corporate spinoff Cobb Energy and a number of other money-losing ventures Brown had set up with the acquiescence of his board.

The plaintiffs’ suit contended $286 million in revenues to the EMC through the years should have been returned to the members rather than diverted into the other ventures. The last time prior to the suit Cobb EMC had refunded those “capital credits” was back in 1976, when they totaled $550,000.

A $98 million settlement of the suit was announced Feb. 25, including a refund to the members.

A so-called “first wave” of distributions totaling $24.6 million is going out this week. Recipients stand to get anywhere from less than $100 to up to several million dollars, depending on how long they have been a customer and how much power they have paid for.

“I am very pleased. This was something that should have been done years ago,” Thompson said. “It was worth it to correct a wrong, and as a result of it, the customers now will get back some compensation for the years that they should have.”

It’s been said before but bears saying again: the community — and not just EMC customers, but all local residents — owe Pound and Thompson a debt of thanks for their dogged pursuit of justice and insistence that the utility be operated on an honest and transparent basis.

Comments
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Dneesey2
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August 04, 2014
I got $94.14. I sure hope those attorneys enjoy those millions that they got.
john in EC
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August 03, 2014
Got my check Saturday. Been at this address '98.
weik4
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August 03, 2014
Got mine yesterday, a whopping $3.56. WOW! Id like to see what the lawyers checks were. It cost you more to print the check.
hcharlie1c
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August 04, 2014
I got my check today for.66 cents. Go figure that after 25 months of service with Cobb EMC. I'm appealing. Advise everyone to do so. The company selected to handle this seems to have been very incompetent. They updated their web site only once in 8-9 months, and their phone agents for the customer service never could give you but general information. I think we need to sue. Contac me at hcharlie1c@aol.com
Luek
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August 02, 2014
I got my check today.....$17.29....Yippie Do! I am off to the beaches of Florida to get some sand in my shoes thanks to this check making it possible!
Rich Pellegrino
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August 01, 2014
The same thanks will go to those fighting the Braves stadium boondoggle deal and all the corruption involved when it is finally defeated and fully exposed.
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