JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The General Manager of 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 was no longer doing business with the NAEC in Jackson County. It’s alleged that Purdy told the co-op to keep paying the company – with Purdy receiving a portion of those funds, court records say.
The agreement says the NAEC received an anonymous letter in the fall of 2021 to alert the board about the payments, saying the company was paying Purdy $60,000 a year.
When confronted by the board, court documents say Purdy told them that it was repayment of a personal loan he had made to one of the company’s owners.
The NAEC was paying $10,000 to the unnamed company without its knowledge since March 2020, court records show, which was the same time that the company ended its business relationship with the co-op.
The plea agreement says that Purdy ordered NAEC’s CFO to keep paying the company, adding that the co-op had paid around $200,000 to the company and $135,000 to Purdy.
Following an interview with investigators, Purdy admitted to receiving and keeping money from the unnamed company.
Purdy has agreed to pay $135,000 in restitution to the NAEC, according to the agreement, along with waiving his appeal rights. Court filings show that the government will seek a lesser sentence due to Purdy’s cooperation, including a “low-end” prison term on the federal sentencing range.