The Rogue Part III: Summary Judgement for Perry Denied

Chris Perry, PEC Director, District 4

Chris Perry, PEC Director, District 4

UPDATE–CORRECTION (9/13/2015) In the post below I reported incorrectly that Director Pataki was at the hearing. She informs me that she was at the courthouse that day but left hours before the hearing, a point that seems not to be in dispute. I regret the error.

It was reported on PEC Truthwatch (August 14, 2015) that PEC Director Chris Perry had gone to District Court court seeking summary judgement in a lawsuit (Chris Perry vs. PEC, Cause No CV07876) that he had filed against the cooperative. He and his lawyers, along with PEC attorneys, appeared before District Judge Evan C. Stubbs in mid-August. Two additional board members, James Oakley and Emily Pataki, were present at the proceedings.
PEC Truthwatch has learned from sources outside of PEC that the court has issued a judgement against the plaintiff, Mr. Perry, denying his traditional motion for summary judgement. The judge further ruled that PEC’s motion to grant plea in Abatement was granted.
It is not entirely clear in lay terms what this ruling means or what comes next. The ruling, however, appears to be a setback for Mr. Perry. He could presumably drop his case or appeal.
According to a copyrighted article that appeared in Texas Electric News on June 25, 2015, Mr. Perry sued PEC early this year requesting that “PEC be compelled to furnish all requested information; that certain code of conduct provisions be declared invalid; and the plaintiff be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees for bringing this action”.
The article further reported that “after his re-election in 2013, Perry sought access to information about the contract PEC has with LCRA, which supplies up to 84% of the co-op’s power. As the information was not readily provided and the Board proposed to charge for Perry’s staff time, Perry sued the board in early May, 2015.”
Other published articles cited Mr. Perry’s claims that “PEC has unlawfully restricted plaintiff’s absolute right to access corporate books and records.”

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5 thoughts on “The Rogue Part III: Summary Judgement for Perry Denied

  1. The judges ruling was confirmed over a week ago. I don’t know why the media hasn’t reported on it. Few legalists I conferred with thought the judge would side with him. I believe the PEC is obligated to counter sue to get my money back.

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  2. Joe,

    I’m really curious: Why do you think, as an owner-member, that you’re better off not knowing what Perry wants to find out about PEC’s contractual obligations to LCRA, and related communications, with LCRA officials?

    Do you really have that much faith in your friends on the PEC Board of Directors!

    Milton

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    • Milton,

      First, concerning the PEC board members: none are my “friends”. Some I supported in elections-some I haven’t. As far as board decisions: some I agree with-some I don’t. The first thing to remember about boards is that boards act as a single entity. The best board members learn to work within the board system-those that don’t find themselves isolated.

      My opinions on Perry and the following opinions are just that opinions:

      1. I admit my past professional experiences, which have all been in the public arena, might make me biased.

      2. I haven’t forgotten who Perry’s initial supporters were and his past affiliations…and the concerns many of us had (and I still do) about his possible conflict of interests. Has he really changed?

      3. In my past experiences as a state monitor for TEA we sometimes investigated complaints from individual school board members that they were having requested info denied them, which they felt they needed to make decisions. Sound familiar? I’ve seen this rodeo before. But never a legal case.
      In all the complaint cases in which I was involved none could prove they were being denied essential info. Most of the times the individuals filing the complains were highly involved in trying to micro-manage the school districts on pet or petty issues or had revengeful intents towards other board members or school employees. None were able to prove they were being denied info they needed to be an effective board members. Not all internal and external emails, letters, etc. are considered essential info to be an effective board member.

      4. We often found these individuals initially isolated themselves from the other board members and were ineffective board members. Most had a personal agenda they were driving. BOARDS ACT AS SINGLE ENTITIES.

      5. These complainers kept the board and administration tied down with the insignificant. Prior to our involvement we found the boards and administrations had tried to appease these individuals…sometimes to the extreme. Finally, the administrations and boards decided the complainers were micro-managing to much and sometimes sanctioned the complainers by the boards….or, most often, just unofficially isolated and ignored the complainers.

      6. Finding themselves isolated, the complainers sometimes tried to paint a picture of themselves as being the victims of a closed system, and there is a conspiracy against them…and they will try to find supporters wherever they can find them. They fly the flag of openness and transparency to gain support…when they are really driving a personal agenda.

      7. Prior to my original statement on this blog I did my homework with a few governance specialists and legal experts in this area. All thought Perry would have a difficult time proving he was being denied the necessary info needed to do his job as a director; like me, they thought it would be found that Perry that be overly appeased.

      8. What info is he being denied that the other board members have?

      9. Thus in my opinion, Perry’s individual micro-managing actions have cost the Co-op, thus the members, thus me thousands of dollars. If my assumptions and opinions prove to be true then the board is obligated to counter sue to retrieve what is owed the Co-op, thus the members, thus me.

      10. If I am wrong and Perry is vindicated then the board has a whole lot of explaining to do…and it will owe the Co-op, thus the members, thus me a whole lot of money.

      The above is my opinion and I can change it anytime I please!

      Joe

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      • Joe, with Question # 8, you hit it out of the park!

        What, indeed, is it that all the others know and he is being denied access to?

        Or, even worse, do the others not yet know what he, as an elected director with a duty to all of us owner-members, is seeking to learn?

        Ignorance may be bliss for some, but I doubt that it’s best for the cooperative we own.

        Thanks for responding.

        Milton

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      • Milton,

        Concerning #8: From what I have heard Perry has everything else the other Board members have…and has been given even more. I do believe most of the board members are rational and thoughtful people who believe they are getting all the info they need to make their decisions. And we need to rethink the way we think: not everything that we disagree with concerning the board’s decisions is a conspiracy.

        Since a Board’s actions are those of a single entity it is best that Perry convince the board that it needs more info. It is not the job of a single board member to conduct his/her own “investigations”. Playing the role of the Lone Wolf just doesn’t work in a board system. Perry has isolated himself and in my opinion is an ineffective board member. Good board members have a special way of convincing others (the Art of Argumentation) that a board should act in a certain way. Apparently, Perry lacks this essential skill to be an effective board member.

        I grew up in a PEC family (my family has been involved or employed by the PEC since the beginning). My dad’s mantra was,”Never trust the LCRA”. I still believe in that mantra today. But I also believe the present administration and board are vigilant in safe guarding the interest of the Co-op. I guess I can change my mantra to “Never trust-but verify”. My own concerns are not in the details of the LCRA/PEC contract…but in the length of the contract-25 years is too long in today’s world of rapidly changing technologies and volatility of generating resources.

        Until Perry proves otherwise, I will stand by my opinionated assumptions in my previous email. In sum, Perry is micro-managing, wasting expensive staff hours and resources, and costing the PEC thousands of dollars in legal expenses. And again, if what I opine turns out to be proven true, the board is obligated to counter sue Perry to get my money back. Of course, members or even a member could do that.

        “Opinions are made…and they are made to be changed. That is why in the US we are obsessive with conducting public opinion polls everyday”! Charlie “Tremendous” Jones.

        Joe Summy

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