Thursday, February 14, 2008

Former Barton County Electric Co-op CEO to repay $112,000

An arbitrator has ruled former Barton County Electric Cooperative CEO Jim Fanning will have to repay $112,000 in funds that were used to give him an ultra-modern Smart Home technology system. The arbitrator's report was released Wednesday and an article on its contents was posted on the Joplin Globe website:

The co-op’s board of directors initially signed off on a work order for improvements to the home, including a Smart Home technology system, valued at more than $113,000. Several other purchases, including appliances, entertainment equipment, and plumbing and bathroom fixtures, were invoiced to the co-op by the Fannings.

An auditing firm also is being sought by the co-op to investigate Fanning’s seven-year tenure as CEO.

Jeffries said the board has been interviewing auditing firms and plans to bring the results of those interviews to co-op members at a series of regional meetings in early March.

The previous audit showed that from 2000 through Jan. 31, 2007, Fanning earned nearly $2.8 million, including bonuses, pension and a severance package. As part of the pension agreement, Fanning’s pension is tax-free because the board agreed to pay roughly $324,000 in income taxes related to the pension. He resigned in January 2007, before the initial audit was conducted.

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