Cobb EMC insider elected chair of state vo-tech board
Former state Rep. Dean Alford (right), who earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock dividends from a for-profit affiliate of a non-profit Cobb County utility, was elected chairman of the board of the Technical College System of Georgia on Thursday.
Court records show Alford paid $750,000 in 2001 for stock in the subsidiary, Cobb Energy Management Corp. The stock earned Alford dividends of $66,000 a year.
The board of the Cobb Electric Membership Cooperative created the business in 1997 and paid it millions of dollars over the next decade to manage the co-op’s affairs. Over time, the EMC became a minority owner of Cobb Energy as CEO Dwight Brown, Alford and others purchased stock in the business.
The EMC owned a different class of stock in Cobb Energy that earned no dividends. Settlement of a lawsuit filed by co-op members calls for buying back stock owned by Alford and others.
Cobb District Attorney Pat Head is investigating 12 years of financial transactions between the co-op and its for-profit affiliate. In a search warrant signed April 21, investigators said they were looking for evidence of any transfer of funds or other assets from either the co-op or Cobb Energy to, among others, Allied Energy Services and Allied Utility Network LLC.
Alford, a state legislator from 1983 to 1993, is president and CEO of Allied Energy Services and Allied Utility Network.