BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (July 23, 2018) -- The Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC addressed the civil lawsuit between former CEO Brian Sparks and the Cooperative at its board meeting Monday evening.
The UDWI Board of Directors understands that our members have many questions and concerns regarding the legal proceedings.
The civil case between the former CEO and UDWI, which was originated by Sparks in December 2017, alleges breach of contract by the cooperative. UDWI stands firm in its counterclaim filed earlier this year, which includes multiple justifications for Sparks's termination. UDWI’s counterclaim can be viewed in the public filing.
Throughout this process there will likely be multiple motions filed by both parties’ attorneys. We are very aware that each time a new motion is filed it raises questions from our members about the case.
The case must follow the proper legal course and is not a fast-moving process. We want to assure our members that the case is in fact moving forward. The motions and decisions being made are deemed necessary by our legal team to maintain UDWI’s legal position in the case.
The board is not asked by our attorneys to vote on every motion or filing, and specifically did not take a board vote on the last filing that dealt with the protective order and confidentiality agreement. We understand this was a big concern for many of our members. This was a decision made by our attorneys in the best interest of the co-op.
We want to clarify the purpose of the protective order. It is in place to prevent Mr. Sparks and his attorneys from releasing information that UDWI has provided to them during the discovery process. Likewise, UDWI cannot release information Mr. Sparks’ attorney has provided to the cooperative.
Our members are calling for each and every detail about the case to be disclosed publicly and that is simply not possible, nor is it how any legal case would be handled.
Throughout the discovery process, our attorneys have produced documents that may contain social security numbers, bank account numbers, or vendor account numbers, which are NOT public information and cannot be released by UDWI.
UDWI does have a transparency policy in place that details what information our members should be able to see or request from the co-op. As we go through this legal case, UDWI will remain committed to this policy and is monitoring how it applies to the information surrounding the civil case. If there are items that the cooperative can legally share with our members, which meet the criteria of the transparency policy, we will do so.
As the co-op has done since the beginning of this lawsuit, we are closely following the advice of our legal counsel and cannot offer additional comments on the civil case at this time.
The board and management team are focused on the future and will continue to seek new ways to provide quality services to our members.