Cobb EMC elections are behind us, but we must stay vigilant and involved to ensure that the reforms we fought so hard for actually happen. Take Back Cobb EMC was one of the catalysts that ushered in new leadership promising good governance and democracy at Cobb EMC, and we’re proud to announce that we’ll be leading the member-based effort to enact a strong and thorough forensic audit, open board meetings, and other crucial reforms. We are confident the board is moving in the right direction; we’ll be following it and keeping members apprised when we need to take action.
The new board has already taken steps to move past the days of Dwight Brown. It is reviewing forensic audit firms with a view toward engaging one in the next couple months. However, the board has been unable to agree on key reforms like open meetings and term limits. We’ll let you know about opportunities to weigh in. For example, Cobb EMC’s annual meeting is in September and we’ll need to attend the meeting to make sure we keep up our end of the bargain and remain responsible member-owners of Cobb EMC.
Members fought tirelessly to secure the election of new and accountable leadership, but we cannot step aside. Our job isn’t finished. We must remain committed, vigilant, and ready to take action. After all, what use is transparency if no one’s watching?
What’s next? The Forensic Audit
The new board is working hard to ensure that a thorough forensic audit happens, but we need to make sure the public is aware of not only what a forensic audit is, but what needs to be included in the audit. The indictment against Dwight Brown alleges that significant amounts of money left Cobb EMC illegally under his watch, and the only way to track every penny is through a robust and comprehensive forensic audit that not only focuses on where the money went, but who received it.
Some areas that we believe should be included in the audit:
- The creation, financing, and management of Cobb Energy
- Cobb EMC’s relationship with Power4Georgians and Plant Washington, including land deals and ex-Cobb-Energy-VP Dean Alford
- Cobb EMC’s relationship with Energy Consulting group and its leader, Anis Sherali
- Cobb EMC’s relationship with J.W. Rayder, including his $30,000 a month to lead the Gas South management committee plus $40,000 a month to consult
- Cobb Energy’s various (now liquidated) subsidiaries
- Cobb EMC’s relationship with Eagle Energy Partners
If you’re interested in learning more about the forensic audit process, especially how it relates to utility co-ops, please feel free to take a look at the audit (LINK) conducted at Pedernales Electric Cooperative near Austin, Texas. Over the last decade, PEC experienced similar issues to those we’ve faced at Cobb EMC. After electing a new board, it brought in Navigant, an auditing firm that helped secure the answers that the new board and PEC members needed and deserved.
We need to keep EMC members informed, and make sure our new board members know we’re behind them. Now is the time for us to share our thoughts and concerns with others. A great way to do that is to submit Letters to the Editor at the Marietta Daily Journal and other local newspapers. If you’d like to submit a Letter to the Editor, an opinion piece to a local newspaper, or just to get involved with TBCE, please contact Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s get to work!