Jackson County Electric Co-op general manager agrees to plead guilty in alleged bribery scheme

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The general manager of the North Alabama Electric Cooperative (NAEC) in Stevenson is expected to plead guilty to a bribery charge, according to federal court documents.

According to the plea agreement, Bruce Purdy received $135,000 from a company that no longer did business with NAEC in Jackson County. It is alleged that Purdy told the co-op to continue paying the company – with Purdy receiving a portion of those funds, according to court records.

The agreement says the NAEC received an anonymous letter in the fall of 2021 alerting the board of the payments, stating that the company was paying Purdy $60,000 per year.

When they were confronted by the board, court documents say Purdy told them it was for the repayment of a personal loan he had made to one of the company’s owners.

The NAEC had been paying the anonymous company $10,000 without its knowledge since March 2020, according to court records, the same time the company ended its business relationship with the cooperative.

The plea agreement says Purdy ordered NAEC’s chief financial officer to continue paying the company, adding that the co-op paid about $200,000 to the company and $135,000 to Purdy.

Following an interview with investigators, Purdy admitted receiving and keeping money from the public company.

Purdy agreed to pay $135,000 in restitution to the NAEC, as per the agreement, as well as waive his appeal rights. Court records show the government will seek a lesser sentence because of Purdy’s cooperation, including a “low end” jail term in the federal sentencing range.


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