Emergency Meeting Called for 1pm Today. CEO John Hewa Fate To Be Decided

developing_storyby Larry Landaker

An emergency meeting of the PEC Board of Directors has been called for 1pm today. The meeting is expected to open in public with member comments. The board will then likely go into executive session to consider two actions:

  1. Consideration and action on CEO agreement
  2. Resolution and possible action to fulfill CEO duties

There are many questions in these two items. It is known that attorneys working for PEC were authorized to deal with the personnel matter concerning John Hewa. Presumably today’s meeting will culminate in a settlement of some kind whereby Mr. Hewa steps down as CEO and the board appoints a temporary or permanent successor.

There is no secret that Mr. Hewa is leaving because of Mr. Oakley.What is not known is what the cost of such an agreement will be to the members. At some point it becomes known to members through disclosure on the IRS form 990. Why should members have to wait?

It is also unknown whether the board intends to appoint an “acting” CEO or whether a permanent appointment is imminent. If the board appoints a permanent replacement without seeking public input from member stakeholders, that action would be unprecedented.

Speculation over Mr. Hewa’s presumed departure have been documented on PECTruthwatch. If Mr. Hewa leaves it is no secret that he is doing so because of Director James Oakley and the failure of the Board to place boundaries on his insatiable hunger for power and control. In essence, Mr. Hewa believed he was no longer able to function in an environment where stated Board policy against the retaliation of employees had occurred. Board Member James Oakley’s, “time for a tree and a rope” Facebook post has caused enormous controversy, hurt and anger over the last few months, both publicly and within PEC.  Oakley was publicly reprimanded by the Texas Commission on Judicial Review and ordered to take additional continuing education and sensitivity training.

For months, Mr. Hewa has been left to manage this firestorm.

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3 thoughts on “Emergency Meeting Called for 1pm Today. CEO John Hewa Fate To Be Decided

  1. The Board seems intent on limiting or thwarting member/owner input or participation in the affairs of our co-op. A jumped-up called meeting, whether labeled “emergency” or not, with little notice and less opportunity for members to make a plan to attend is deplorable.

    It is plain that the Board, with James Oakley in the lead, has succeeded in running off a very accomplished CEO. The exit package will no doubt cost the co-op big bucks for what is, in its essence, equivalent to a wrongful termination. With possible retaliation thrown in for good measure.

    And it is apparently a package arrangement with a new CEO appointee waiting in the wings. No search. No member input. Just an in-your face display of terrible board behavior.

    Mr. Oakley is and has been a disruptive and malign influence on the Board and within the co-op. It is past time for him to either resign or be removed by the Board. The failure of the Board to do its duty in January regarding the racially charged Facebook Post of Mr. Oakley, has led directly to the sad scene we see playing out today.

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  2. “Judge” (I’m using that term as loose as he is) Oakley and the “Accomplished CEO” both retaliated against me when I was employed at PEC in the spring of 2016. The facts: I was offended by a sexually insensitive remark made by “Judge” Oakley and to his face told him he needed some HR Training, only to be told the next day by Mr. Hewa himself that there were “too many complaints about me and I was being let go” shows that this retaliation has been going on for quite some time.

    Oh, and just to be clear – I did request to know what the complaints were and was told that was not important, the decision had been made – I needed to go. I was given a very nice exit package – the same kind Mr. Hewa is getting now which some are saying shows wrongful termination was at play. Hmmmm.

    Mr. Hewa is just as guilty of what he charged “Judge” Oakley with. He should remember that swinging the story to cast a bigger shadow on someone else doesn’t make you nice, righteous, or professional. He is looking to salvage that reputation and come out of this looking like some kind of hero when in reality, he made a TON of money as the CEO, received an exit package, and is now able to move freely on to his next super-high paying position. Yeah, I feel really sorry for him…….

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