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UDWI Rural Electric Co-Op Close To Naming New CEO

The Utilities District of Western Indiana Rural Electric Member Cooperative serves several counties in south-west Indiana.

Photo: Steve Burns

The Utilities District of Western Indiana Rural Electric Member Cooperative serves several counties in south-west Indiana.

The Utilities District of Western Indiana (UDWI) plans to announce its new CEO soon. The board is choosing from three remaining finalists.

The board fired former CEO Brian Sparks in June. He was put on paid leave while the electric utility conducted an internal audit of the co-op’s finances.

When phase one of the audit was complete, the board terminated Sparks.

The board refused to make the first part of the audit public.  Part two of the audit was a series of recommendations based on the findings in part one.

Those areas for improvement included better documentation of all expenses, implementation of approval limits for purchases and more control of petty cash and dollar levels.

The board says it received more than 70 applicants for Sparks’ position. In addition to interviews, the finalists completed a skills and personality assessment.

In a statement, board president Ron Thomas called the search process extremely thorough.  He says all the finalists are impressive candidates.

UDWI serves about 19,000 customers primarily in Greene, Monroe, Lawrence, Owen and Clay counties.

The new CEO has a lot of work to do restoring confidence among ratepayers. During Sparks’ tenure, rates soared to the highest in the state and among the highest in the Midwest. The FBI is also investigating the electric utility.

Here’s a complete timeline of the history of UDWI, including the investigations in the co-op’s expenses.

 

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