Posts Tagged ‘Fuelberg’

On April 13th, the Uptown Marble Theater at 218 Main Street in Marble Falls will present the world theatrical premiere of Green Dreams, a 50 minute documentary about the revolution at the Pedernales Electric Cooperative. Following the screening will be a meet & greet with PEC’s newly-hired CEO, R.B. Sloan.

[vimeo 21828817]

Former PEC General Manager Bennie Fuelberg has been sentenced to 300 days in jail, the entire former board of directors has either resigned or been voted out. The co-op has been wracked with scandal and tales of intimidation and mismanagement.

But a new day has dawned. PEC has a new, leaner, reform-minded board of directors, new bylaws and a member Bill of Rights. Transparency and member input have become desirable goals when once they were forbidden. And, some say, it all began with a phone call.

In 2006, filmmaker Ric Sternberg called the PEC, his electric co-op, for information about any “green” programs that the co-op might offer. This phone call led to more calls until he began to realize that decisions were being made by what appeared to be a rubber-stamp board of directors who maintained their well-paid positions, some for as many as 40 years, by a proxy voting process that was rigged – no competition.

Ric registered a web domain and organized a loose-knit group of PEC members who called themselves PEC4U. That rag-tag organization began the struggle for democracy and transparency at the Pedernales Co-op, which soon led to a member lawsuit and the “house of cards” crumbling. Meanwhile Ric, being a documentarian, started to record the process. Green Dreams is the result. It tells the story of the revolution and then talks about the future as it might be. The film is being presented as a conversation-starter – the beginning of a dialogue among members about where PEC should be headed.

The film screening will be followed by a meet & greet – an opportunity for PEC members to meet R.B. Sloan, the Pedernales Electric Co-op’s brand new CEO.

The theater will open at 7:00pm for casual socializing. The program will begin at 7:30pm. After the screening, the filmmaker and some of the people seen in the film will be available for Q&A. The meet & greet with Mr. Sloan will be in the theater’s lobby, beginning at about 8:45pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

The documentary will be shown at other theaters in the PEC service area.  Watch for other scheduled showings.

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Bennie Fuelberg during his trial

Bennie Fuelberg

Former Pedernales Electric Cooperative General Manager Bennie Fuelberg has been sentenced to five years’ probation, 300 days in county jail, 1,000 hours of community service and $126,000 in restitution which goes to the co-op’s former law firm Clark, Thomas and Winters, and its insurance company, which paid a $4.1 million settlement to the co-op last year.  The sentence is for a conviction on third-degree felony theft of co-op funds, money laundering and misappropriation of fiduciary property.  The co-op, which had rejected a prosecution proposal directing Fuelberg to pay Pedernales $100,000, gets no money.

The charges could have carried a maximum prison term of 10 years, but Fuelberg got less than a year of actual jail time.

Demond, a former attorney with Clark, Thomas & Winters, faces trial on the same theft and money laundering charges later this year.


Turns out, the reason for only 300 days of jail time is the judge gave Fuelberg the option of reducing his jail time by accepting responsibility for his crime — including waiving his right to appeal — and testifying against attorney Walter Demond. Demond, a former partner at Clark Thomas, who faces trial later this year on the same felony theft, money laundering and misapplication of fiduciary property charges as Fuelberg.

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