“Concerned Employees” Speak: Enough Is Enough

By Larry Landaker, Publisher, PECTruthwatch

DiscontentPECTruthwatch received an anonymous letter this week from PEC “Concerned Employees”. We chose not to publish this letter until it was determined to be authentic. The letter was signed, “Very concerned employees who give it our best, day in and day out, and desperately want a board of directors that stays in their lane!”

It is unknown who authored the letter or whether it was written by one employee or several. What is known with absolute certainty is that the letter contains inside knowledge of PEC and was conveyed to the entire board of directors. It reads like a cry for help. Clearly, emotions among many PEC employees remain raw from events over the last 6 months. It also appears that the board is tone deaf to employee attitudes in the summer of their discontent.

PECTruthwatch readers will now have the opportunity to read this letter in its entirety and judge for themselves here:


Among other things, the letter accuses James Oakley and Board President Emily Pataki of using PEC as a stepping stone for higher political gain at the expense of the best interests of the employees and members.

But the letter more vigorously attacks Mr. Oakley. He is criticized for ginning up publicity on his own behalf (to the detriment of the cooperative’s public image and reputation). He is once again admonished for his “time for a tree and a rope” comment, calling his apology, “feeble”.

“An apology is something you say or write in order to tell someone that you are sorry you have hurt them or caused trouble for them. It is not up to you to decide whether or not an apology is sufficient and should be accepted. That is left up to the people who felt hurt by the comments.” 

Much of the letter expresses concerns over the question of who will succeed Mr. Hewa. The board, it appears, is giving consideration to filling the position internally. The letter suggests that no candidate from management within is qualified…that the upper management pool is full of distrust and dysfunction.

In closing, the letter calls upon the board to rebuild its public image, to quit disparaging the former CEO and to formally assess its own performance.


6 thoughts on ““Concerned Employees” Speak: Enough Is Enough

  1. First, this letter is simply awesome. I know it would require upmost courage and boldness: But, the employee(s) who wrote this need to be public about it. Take a day off from work, exert your rights as member-owners, and attend the next Board meeting and use the 3-minute member comments section of the meeting. Then if retaliation by this corrupt board Chairwoman and her 4 sycophant board members follows, get yourselves a good lawyer, and dish it back to them. At this point, you employees stand the most likelihood of saving the Co-op. THANK YOU, for who you are, and what you do!!


  2. This “scan”, without a signature, is hearsay and rumor. In my opinion, posting this as fact negatively impacts your credibility. If you cannot identify and/or verify the source of your information it shouldn’t be repeated.


    • I take your point and I am never comfortable with unsigned letters. I am also not about to reveal what I know about my sources. I consider the source of this letter to be from an employee whistle blower. The management culture at PEC apparently no longer protects whistle blowers to the degree that it did when I was on the board. Employees might naturally be reluctant to expose themselves to an employment death warrant for signing such a letter, given recent accusations at PEC of management and board retaliation. My decision to publish this letter was based on a judgement that it came from a PEC employee and accurately reflects the feelings of some, if not many employed there.


  3. Check out the Nov. 21, 2016, interview with Emily Pataki for the Association of Women in Energy. In the interview, she praises John Hewa and lists him as one of the three people who has inspired her professional endeavors. Her direct quote:

    “A third inspirational figure for me is PEC CEO John Hewa. After arriving at the helm of the Co-op in 2013, he immediately charted a course that has taken us from a utility still in recovery-mode after years of instability and Executive turnover to one of the most transparent, reliable, and increasingly competitive utilities in Texas. It’s been an honor to help him achieve these wins for the PEC membership.”

    Note, this was said and published right before Oakley’s November comments. Interesting that in six months John Hewa went from being Emily’s professional idol to a supposedly ineffective leader with poor performance.

    It’s pretty clear John Hewa’s exit had nothing to do with poor performance and everything to do with Oakley’s retaliation and a corrupt Board.



  4. First, I want to say how much I appreciate the courage of the letter writer(s). PEC employees have stood up to Board members’ corruption and inabilities to put PEC above personal interests and ambitions.Second, I want to encourage PEC members to take a similar stand against a Board that appears to be determined to bring down our co-op. Whatever agenda is the basis of their actions does not bode well for our non-profit organization. It is time for members to once again take back their co-op.


  5. I’m encouraged that employees are stepping up to speak against board member, Oakley. And am proud to say that I indeed support them against Oakley’s act of threatening and frightening bullying. The grim sadness of the ‘tree and rope’ comment, is that Oakley doesn’t know right from wrong, and he thinks that what he posted on Facebook is absolutely correct, and that’s only because it’s how he’s thought and expressed himself all of his life.

    Upon hearing Oakley’s ‘tree and rope’ comment, The TX Commission on Judicial Conduct gave Oakley the highest reprimand possible, but yet, Pataki and the other Oakley supporting board members, continue to support Oakley as well as his public racial slurs.

    This is a sad and terrifying day for the largest Electric Co-op in the U.S. We lost our devoted leader, Mr. Hewa because certain board members could not decipher ‘right from wrong’; and here we are almost a year later fighting for the simple question: “would Oakley’s comment have been okay if it had been your family member who was frightened and bullied?”

    It is never alright for anyone to publically encourage others to take the law into their own hands.

    There’s a time in a person’s life, when they must grow a backbone, and stand up for another human being who is being terrorized by a lesser human being! I only hope, you, who support Oakley will find your backbone soon, and when you do, maybe you’ll also discover how to decipher ‘right from wrong.’


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