According to the terms of a plea agreement filed last week, the general manager of North Alabama Electric Cooperative (NAEC) in Jackson County will be pleading guilty to a bribery charge.
According to the agreement, Bruce L. Purdy ordered the chief financial officer of the NAEC to keep paying a company it was no longer in business with and received $60,000 a year from the company in return.
The plea agreement claimed Purdy received approximately $135,000, and the company received $200,000.
The name of the company is yet to be identified.
The NAEC has been in operation for over 70 years, providing power to rural areas, which are too expensive for large power companies to service. Today, it serves over 18,000 customers in Jackson and Marshall Counties.
The plea agreement said the NAEC had been paying the company $10,000 a month since March 2020, when NAEC stopped doing business with the company. The NAEC board received an anonymous letter late in 2021, which let them know that the NAEC was still paying the company.
According to reports, Purdy claimed he was repaying a personal loan when confronted by the board.
The plea agreement said Purdy agreed to pay $135,000 in restitution and waive his appeal rights. In exchange, the government said it would agree to seek a lesser sentence.
Purdy’s arraignment is scheduled for October 6 in U.S. District Court in Huntsville.
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