by 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:
- Consideration and action on CEO agreement
- 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.