CMEEC BOARD OF DIRECTORS ESTABLISHES SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO OVERSEE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION
Special Committee to Review Facts and Present Recommendations to Ensure Interests of CMEEC Members, Customers and Ratepayers are Protected
NORWICH, CT – NOVEMBER , 2018 – The Board of Directors of the Connecticut Municipal Energy and Electric Cooperative (“CMEEC”) today established a Special Committee of the Board to oversee the independent investigation being conducted by an outside law firm into the activities that led to the recent indictments of certain members of the CMEEC leadership team. The Special Committee, which is made up of members who were not part of and did not have specific responsibility for the activities under review, was created by a unanimous vote of the Board during a telephonic Board meeting held this afternoon.
The Special Committee is charged with overseeing the outside investigation, reviewing the findings, making recommendations to the full Board regarding any actions it thinks would be appropriate to take, and addressing any related developments. The individuals named to the Special Committee are:
- Mark Oefinger – Municipal Representative, City of Groton
- Stewart Peil – Vice Chairman, Norwich Utilities Commission
- Debora Goldstein – Commissioner, Norwalk Third Taxing District
- Richard Tanger – Commissioner, Bozrah Light & Power
- Paul Yatcko – General Manager, South Norwalk Electric and Water
Following today’s Board meeting, CMEEC Chairman Ken Sullivan and Interim CEO Mike Lane sent the following update to CMEEC members and customers:
We are writing to follow up on our recent annual meeting and summarize the steps we have taken to address the indictments returned earlier this month in connection with allegations of improper use of CMEEC funds.
As you know, this is a matter that we at CMEEC are taking very seriously on behalf of all our members, customers and the communities we serve. CMEEC has cooperated fully with the government’s investigation and will continue to do so. We have also taken a number of actions to get more information, promote transparency and ensure accountability.
First, CMEEC’s Board has authorized an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation to ensure it has all the facts.
Second, the Board has created a Special Committee of the Board that is charged with overseeing this investigation, reviewing the findings, making recommendations to the full Board regarding any actions it believes would be appropriate and addressing any related developments. To ensure the integrity of this process, the Special Committee consists of directors unconnected with the activities under review.
Finally, the Board placed Drew Rankin and Edward Pryor on unpaid administrative leave with no active role at CMEEC while this review is ongoing. Additionally, John Bilda has been removed from his position on the CMEEC Board of Directors and Member Delegation. It should be noted that at the annual meeting we were required to present the slate of officers for 2019, and were advised that, as a matter of employment law, we could not remove Mr. Rankin’s name pending the outcome of the independent investigation and other steps.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the full Board is committed to reviewing all the facts and the recommendations of the Special Committee.
We also would like to emphasize that, prior to these most recent actions, CMEEC has taken steps to protect the interests of our members, customers and ratepayers in the communities we serve. These include significantly updating CMEEC’s bylaws, including the adoption of strict ethics and travel policies. They also include implementing legislation to commission a forensic examination of the 2013-2017 period and to add a municipal consumer advocate, as well as other ratepayer representatives, to our Board.
CMEEC’s core mission, to energize customers and community prosperity by delivering sustained lower-cost energy solutions, remains unchanged. We can assure you that CMEEC is fully operational and committed to fulfilling that mission by providing all of our customers with quality service and affordable rates without interruption or disruption. In fact, we are projecting upward of $175 million in value creation to our members over the period 2013 through 2018.
On behalf of CMEEC, you have our deepest gratitude for your continued support. If you have any questions, or would like to talk further, please feel free to contact either of us at any time.
Ken Sullivan Michael Lane
Chairman Interim CEO
Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative