Cobb EMC, the nonprofit, customer-owned electric cooperative that serves about 200,000 customers across parts of Cobb, Cherokee, Bartow, Fulton and Paulding counties, has faced a pretty hectic few weeks.
- Dwight Brown, the co-op's chief executive, retired Monday to fulfill terms of a 2008 court-ordered settlement between the company and suing customers. Brown had served as CEO since 1993.
- The Cobb EMC board asked court permission to rehire Brown. As it awaits approval, Brown remains on the books as a consultant. Brown was indicted Jan. 6 on 31 theft and racketeering charges.
- The board dropped a lawsuit against some of its customers who had sued it three years ago. The suit accused the customers of violating the 2008 agreement, saying their actions led to the grand jury investigation that resulted in Brown's indictment.
In the most recent development, Brown's attorneys contend that the indictment itself was handed down illegally because it was served in the new Superior Courthouse four days before the building's official opening to the public. State law requires indictments to be served in public, and Brown's legal team said a regular citizen could not access the courthouse Jan. 6.
Superior Court Judge Robert Flournoy III on Thursday said he would give attorneys on both sides until March 14 to file their final documents before he made a ruling.
Marietta Patch, launched just two months ago, is admittedly a little late in the game on this story. Most of it developed years before the site was even a grass seed. The story has been covered thoroughly by both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which broke the story in 2007, and the Marietta Daily Journal, which provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of the latest hearing on Twitter on Thursday. The indictment of Brown came down within a week after Marietta Patch went live.
At Marietta Patch, we want to be a forum for your views and serve as a community gathering place where civil discourse can take place online. As you have seen in recent weeks, this site has become the place to air views about the Cobb County School District calendar as well as the March 15 vote on SPLOST. Now it's time to open up the site to comments about Cobb EMC.