Cobb EMC history and timeline of civil lawsuit
August 12, 2011 12:00 AM | 3682 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
1938: Cobb EMC is formed as an electricity provider to 489 residential customers and 14 commercial accounts.

1993: Dwight Brown becomes president of Cobb EMC.

July 22, 1997: Cobb Energy is formed as a for-profit subsidiary of Cobb EMC.

July 28, 1997: Then-EMC board decides unanimously that the Cobb Energy board would consist of three members from EMC.

October 2007: EMC customers Butch Thompson and Bo Pounds, among others, file a civil suit in Cobb Superior Court alleging breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment in relation to the management and operations of the co-op and Cobb Energy.

July 7, 2008: A special litigation committee that was established by Cobb EMC to review actions of the two companies releases its findings. Among them: That the two entities should restructure their management relationships. The committee finds that board members serving on the Cobb EMC board should no longer serve on the Cobb Energy board as well. The committee says it found no criminal wrongdoing.

Aug. 25, 2008: Cobb Superior Court Judge J. Stephen Schuster orders the election of EMC board directors to be postponed and orders EMC to find a way to include more members in the voting process.

Sept. 4, 2008: Cobb EMC conducts its 70th annual meeting, but without the election of board members.

Dec. 2, 2008: Schuster approves a settlement in the lawsuit that brings Cobb Energy back under the umbrella of EMC. Dwight Brown's management contract as leader of Energy is bought out. He remains CEO of the co-op, but will retire by February 2011. All of Energy's subsidiary companies not related to utility operations are moved into a trust to be sold or liquidated.

Dec. 12, 2008: EMC board members approve bylaw changes to how members may cast their votes.

Jan. 22, 2009: Superior Court Judge Michael Stoddard, special master for discovery in the suit, revokes the bylaw changes.

March 13, 2009: Judge Schuster hears EMC's appeal of Stoddard's decision on the bylaw changes.

April 22, 2009: Agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Cobb County Sheriff's Office raid the offices of Cobb EMC and Cobb Energy and the homes of CEO Dwight Brown, and directors Larry Chadwick, David McGinnis and Dr. Frank Boone.

May 14, 2009: Schuster rules that the bylaw amendment is allowed.

April 13, 2010: The state Court of Appeals overturns Schuster's decision on the bylaw changes. Three appeals judges agree that the bylaw change regarding how members can vote was 'contrary to the terms of the Settlement Agreement.' Cobb EMC later asks the Georgia Supreme Court to hear an appeal in the matter.

Nov. 1, 2010: The Georgia Supreme Court announces it will hear the case regarding the bylaw changes.

Jan. 6, 2011: Grand Jury indicts Brown on 31 counts of racketeering, fraud and theft of assets. He is booked into Cobb Jail and released on a signature bond.

Feb. 28, 2011: EMC announces Brown's retirement, but also that the board will ask the court's permission to rehire him. Brown continues on as a consultant.

March 22, 2011: Superior Court Judge Robert Flournoy throws out Brown's indictment on g rounds it wasn't delivered in open court. Prosecutors later appeal.

June 14, 2011: Ga. Supreme Court rejects, 6-1, EMC's bylaw amendments enacted on Dec. 12, 2008, clearing the way for elections.

June 24, 2011: Schuster rejects the directors' bid to rehire Brown.

July 7, 2011: Brown is re-indicted on the same charges plus 4 more. This time, he rides to jail handcuffed in the back of the sheriff's car.

July 11, 2011: Chip Nelson is named chief executive of Cobb EMC.

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