Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Charles Burgess, Tim Daniels and Tommy Stuckey have entered into a settlement agreement with Santee Electric Cooperative to settle their lawsuit with Santee according to a press release issued by the plaintiff’s attorney Jack Barnes. "I believe the settlement agreement with Santee Electric is a win win for all involved. The plaintiffs and ultimately all members of the co-op will realize a more transparent organization with policies and procedures that are state of the art within the industry. In turn, this will allow the co-op to run more effectively and allow the board to be more productive and efficient," said Barnes. The lawsuit, which was filed in August 2010, was triggered after a 2008 IRS tax report reflected tens of thousands of dollars in a one-time compensation from a retirement account went to the vast majority of current and former board members. The lawsuit alleged that current and former board members of the co-op abused their positions for their own personal gain. The lawsuit called for the return of the compensation to the co-op, the resignation of the board and CEO, as well as changes to policy and procedure. According to the press release, Santee Electric has already made quite a few changes to its policies and procedures during the course of the lawsuit and the settlement includes review and revisions of the remaining policies and procedures of the co-op over the next year to bring them within industry standards if they aren't currently within those standards. “Santee Electric is pleased to report that it has reached an amicable settlement in the Burgess v. Santee Electric Cooperative matter," said David Black, Santee Electric’s Attorney. "The settlement recognizes the cooperatives sound management practices and fair electricity rates while allowing Santee the opportunity to update other corporate governance policies and procedures." On Wednesday, January 22, a request for details of the settlement was emailed to attorney Barnes.