By Mary Beth Sallee
Jobe Publishing Inc.
The Glasgow Electric Plant Board (GEPB) met in special session via Zoom on Thursday, February 11 to discuss mediation efforts.
Board members present during the meeting included DT Froedge, Marlin Witcher, Glenn Pritchard, and Libby Short.
Attorneys were also present, including Chris Davenport on behalf of William “Billy” Ray, Rick Hughes on behalf of Short, Randy Gardner on behalf of Froedge, and Ron Hampton and Matt Baker on behalf of the GEPB.
Once mediation concluded, mediator Rick Walter announced during executive session that effective as of March 1, William “Billy” Ray would step down as chief executive officer of the GEPB.
Mediator Walters recited the following terms that were agreed upon during mediation:
- Ray will be retired effective March 1, 2021;
- Ray may announce his retirement at any time between now and March 1;
- After March 1, Ray has agreed to act as advisor and consultant to the GEPB for a minimum of three months. Ray, at his option and his option only, may choose to continue on for an additional three months, or no more than six months total;
- As long as Ray is acting as advisor and consultant to the GEPB, he will be entitled to receive his full-pay and benefits;
- For his severance from his position with the GEPB, Ray shall receive a lump sum payment of $250,000 on June 1 of 2021, the date of which is the conclusion of the initial three-month period of time that that Ray has agreed upon to act as advisor and consultant for the GEPB;
- A mutual release will be prepared, with Attorney Matt Baker charged with the initial drafting of the document, which is subject to approval by all counsel for all other involved parties. The mutual release will include a mutual non-disparagement agreement wherein no individual, including GEPB members and staff, will make any sort of disparaging remarks against Ray or any current Board of Directors member;
- All Board of Director members, as well as Ray himself, will be expected to individually sign the mutual non-disparagement agreement;
- Through an agreed order, for purposes of preparing all documents necessary for the enforcement of this settlement agreement, Ray will be allowed to intervene in the Barren Circuit Court action. This will include the fact that an agreed Order of Dismissal with Prejudice will also be prepared, as well as circulated and signed by all involved parties. The document will be held in trust by Attorney Chris Davenport until Ray receives the lump sum payment of $250,000. At that time, the order will be filed with Barren Circuit Court.
Two other agreements from the mediation were also agreed upon:
- Matt Baker, on behalf of his clients, had previously prepared and filed a Writ of Mandamus with the Kentucky Court of Appeals. A Writ of Mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering that particular official to properly fulfill his/her official duties. However, Baker will withdraw the writ immediately so that there is no further action needed to be taken in the Court of Appeals;
- After the original mediation in October of 2020, motions for contempt were filed with Barren Circuit Court. Part of this consideration was for attorney fees and other charges. However, it has been agreed upon by each party to withdraw any contempt sanctions from the court.
Davenport clarified that the GEPB itself is likewise a party to the mutual non-disparagement mutual release that Baker is to prepare.
“Secondarily, with the parties will be agreeing to an agreed order which will allow Mr Ray’s intervention in the pending circuit case for the purposes of the settlement agreement and getting these things down,” Davenport stated.
“DT (Froedge), we will need a motion to approve those terms as recited by Mr. Walters and as clarified by Mr Davenport,” Hampton added.
A motion was made by Witcher and seconded by Pritchard to accept the mediation terms. In an unanimous decision, the Board approved to accept those terms.
Another meeting is scheduled for February 12 at 9 a.m. for the GEPB to request that the law firm of Frost, Brown, & Todd withdraw a lawsuit that would attempt to remove the board from a 20-year agreement that has been made with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).