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October 23rd, 2008
Pedernales Electric channel: Texland board releases bank records

From Pedernales Electric Cooperative

At its board meeting on Oct. 22, the Texland Electric Cooperative board released a summary of deposits and transactions for a bank account held in Texland’s name at Johnson City Bank from May 1980 to January 1986.

“We believe this is (now) a full accounting of the entire history of Texland, to the best of our knowledge,” said Texland board President Kathryn Scanlon. “We have been briefed on the lawsuit, and we continue to believe these funds rightly belong to Texland.”

In previous meetings, the Texland board has released details of transactions relating to an active account at Cattleman’s National Bank. The information released at the Oct. 22 meeting highlights information about an earlier account held at Johnson City Bank.

The detailed transaction summary was accompanied by a summary of payments to individuals and entities involved in Texland. This document shows payments to former board members and employees of the cooperative over the time period, including $662,000 in payments made to the late A.W. Moursund, the Moursund Insurance Agency, Bennie Fuelberg and W.W. Burnett. Moursund, who died in 2002, received the bulk of the money while he was also serving as general counsel for Pedernales Electric. Fuelberg and Burnett were PEC’s general manager and board president at the time.

Pedernales Electric Cooperative and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative formed Texland in the 1980s as a joint venture to build coal-fired generation plants. The plan was abandoned after the Public Utility Commission of Texas denied licensing for the plants, and the discovery of a still-active bank account for the entity at Cattleman’s National Bank spurred a reconstitution of the Texland board and litigation over the ownership of the Cattleman’s account.

“I think this establishes that Texland funds were being disbursed to these individuals at the same time they were serving on the Pedernales Board, and in Mr. Moursund’s case, while he was serving as legal counsel and insurance agency as well,” said Texland Treasurer Patrick Cox. “There was no clear information, at least that we’ve been able to determine, that really establishes where these funds were going and the purpose for which they were being paid.”

“The current PEC board members that were there at the time,” added Scanlon, “have asserted time and again that they had no knowledge that anyone was getting payment.”

The information on the Johnson City Bank account was contained in documents obtained by Texland from the law firm of Moursund, Moursund & Moursund. The Texland board has since served Cattleman’s with a request for disclosure, and Cattleman’s has amended its interpleader petition — the subject of a countersuit filed by Texland on Sept. 11, 2008 — to include the Lower Colorado River Authority as a party  to the suit. Cattleman’s has also served Texland with a notice of deposition and request for disclosures.

“I want to restate what our objectives are,” Cox said. “One is the recovery of the Texland account to make sure that money comes back to the rightful owner. We’ll then make a decision on disbursing those funds to PEC and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

“The second has been our efforts to provide a history on Texland, a history that has been hidden for 30 years. By disclosing the account information in detail, we are fulfilling our pledge to make the information public to our members.

“The third is the intent of the Texland board, after all this is resolved, to finally close Texland as an active cooperative. That is ultimately what we will do once we have concluded this business.”

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