By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 1, 2018
CAIRO, Ga. (WCTV) -- On Wednesday, members of the Grady Electric Membership Co-op took to the streets to protest for more transparency.
More than a dozen members protested outside the Grady EMC building Wednesday afternoon. They said they're asking for more transparency from the board, citing irresponsible spending and decisions being made behind closed doors.
Organizers of the protest said that as a publicly owned company, they deserve more of a say in where their money is going, and should be able to access information on spending.
"We want openness. It's our company, member's company, and we want to know what's going on. We're loaning our employees inside that building, money against their paychecks each week. That's got to stop, said Gordon Clyatt, an elected Grady EMC director.
Grady EMC President and CEO Bo Rosser responded in a statement, saying:
"It is unfortunate that a member of our board of directors, Gordan Clyatt, continues to mislead our membership and members of the public with misleading and false information. He has attacked me and my family, other employees, and our organization for more than four years. He has threatened us constantly - “we are going to fire you”, “we don’t want you”, “no one wants you to work here”, “the train is coming for you”, “we are going to get you”, etc. – and caused a great deal of undeserved stress. These attacks - on social media, in person, and in the community - have also caused a negative and hostile work environment for our employees and organization - one that has been reported to our board of directors by me and more than 15 other employees. The board has investigated these complaints, but has yet to issue a formal report or take any action regarding the negative environment that has only continued to get worse.
Management and the board agreed and recommended to move forward with a forensic audit to put this director’s accusations to rest, but he and the other directors that are part of this negative campaign have refused to participate or be a part of such process. Due to their unwillingness to participate, the board placed the audit on hold, recognizing that without their involvement, these individuals would not accept the results. Rather than participate in running the EMC, which would make them accountable for their actions, they choose to do nothing and then throw stones at the work of others. This blatant refusal to participate with the board shows that their true agenda is to pursue personal vendettas against me and other individuals they dislike, not to improve Grady EMC or communicate the truth to its members.
Rather than work with our management team and employees to continue the great work of this EMC, their sole goal seems to be to undermine the organization so that they can take control of the organization for their own agendas. In addition to misrepresentations regarding the EMC’s by-laws, Mr. Clyatt has made a number of false statements about me, some of which include:
- accusing me of creating shadow corporations and money being sent to these corporations to benefit me personally, which is completely false;
- accusing me of benefiting from numerous transactions and business operations - such as the construction of primary infrastructure facilities to serve new and potential members, which is completely false;
- accusing me of self-dealing and unethical practices without any justification or evidence, which is completely false;
- continuing to mislead members about the EMC’s financial position, claiming ‘Grady EMC is on the brink of bankruptcy because of Rosser’s mismanagement and wasteful spending’, which is completely false.
If anyone has any information or evidence of any of these claims, then I encourage them to take it to the proper authorities immediately. The truth is that these statements and others like them claiming that I have stolen or taken money from the EMC are complete and utter lies. By creating and spreading them through his multiple Facebook accounts and postings, Mr. Clyatt’s accusations seem to have incited people to make threats such as “Get a rope”, “Rosser needs to watch out we are coming for him”, “They use to hang people for these types of actions”, “(Rosser) needs to invest in Kevlar”, and “We need to take him out to the woodshed and teach him a lesson.” By responding ‘Amen!’, Mr. Clyatt only encourages such threats and intimidation. I have been forced to file police reports due to threats against my life.
I have provided links to our by-laws - http://gradyemc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GradyEMC-Bylaws.pdf, consumer policies - http://gradyemc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GradyEMC-Consumer-Policy-Manual.pdf, a Facts Page - http://gradyemcfacts.com/ with answers to many of the false allegations, which also provides a link to ask any question, our last two complete audits - http://gradyemc.com/financial-report/ which include an opinion letter, financials, and all accompanying audit notes, as well as a link to our board minutes- http://gradyemc.com/board-meeting-minutes/. We will also be live-streaming the board meetings based on my recommendation so our members can view the discussions and activities of the board.
Any additional information can be requested by completing a very simple affidavit http://gradyemc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GEMCInformationRequestPolicy-2.pdf and including the information sought.
As we are left waiting for the board’s response to its investigation of Mr. Clyatt’s behavior, we continue to do our very best to serve our members, each and every day. We strive to provide safe, reliable, and affordable service to our membership. Our safety has been recognized in the state with one year of no lost time and now we are approaching two consecutive years of no lost time. We are also a safety accredited organization scoring in the 98%. We have been ranked among the top half in Georgia, regarding reliability, based on our availability rate at greater than 99%. We are consistently less expensive regarding our cost of service then most of our neighboring utilities and typically fall in the middle to lower half cost of all providers in Georgia. Overall, we were awarded, in January, the Large Business of the Year for Grady County. I attribute all of these successes to our outstanding team of hardworking and dedicated employees.
Thank you again for taking the time to read my response and review the linked information. I apologize that you are being brought into what Mr. Clyatt has stated on numerous occasions is a personal vendetta against me and anyone who disagrees with his personal agenda. We hope these continuous attacks against the EMC and its employees will stop so we can focus on the critical and dangerous job of providing safe, reliable, and affordable electric service to the members we serve."