Under the terms of a plea agreement filed last week, the general manager of the North Alabama Electric Cooperative (NAEC) in Jackson County will plead guilty to a bribery charge.
Under the agreement, Bruce L. Purdy ordered NAEC’s chief financial officer to continue paying a company with which he was no longer in business and received $60,000 per year from the company in return.
The plea agreement claimed Purdy received approximately $135,000 and the company received $200,000.
The name of the company has not yet been identified.
NAEC has been in operation for over 70 years, providing electricity to rural areas, which are too expensive to be served by large power companies. Today, it serves more than 18,000 customers in Jackson and Marshall counties.
The plea agreement stated that NAEC had been paying the company $10,000 per month since March 2020, when NAEC ceased doing business with the company. The NAEC board received an anonymous letter at the end of 2021, which let them know that NAEC was still paying the company.
Reportedly, Purdy claimed he was repaying a personal loan when confronted by the board.
The plea agreement said Purdy had agreed to pay $135,000 in restitution and waive his appeal rights. In return, the government said it would agree to seek a lesser sentence.
Purdy’s arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 6 in U.S. District Court in Huntsville.
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