North Alabama Electric Cooperative (NAEC) General Manager Bruce Purdy has agreed to plead guilty to a bribery charge after reaching an agreement with federal prosecutors.

According to the plea agreement, Purdy received a total of $135,000 since March 2020 with a company that entered a two-year contract with NAEC in 2017. After March 2020, the company did not provide known services to NAEC, however continued to bill NAEC $10,000 a month, which Purdy instructed the NAEC chief financial officer to pay. NAEC paid the company $200,000.

In October/November 2021 timeframe, an anonymous letter was sent to the NAEC Board of Directors alerting the board that NAEC was paying the company monthly. In turn, the company was paying Purdy $60,000 per year.

When confronted with this information, Purdy initially told the board it was repayment of a personal loan he had made to an owner of the company.

According to the plea agreement, NAEC board members had no knowledge Purdy received money from the company.

During an interview with federal agents, Purdy admitted he received and kept the money.

Purdy is scheduled for arraignment Thursday, Oct. 6 in U.S. District Court in Huntsville. According to the plea agreement, he has agreed to pay $135,000 in restitution to NAEC and waive his appeal rights. Purdy is facing a federal prison sentence of not more than 10 years. However, federal prosecutors have agreed to seek a lesser sentence due to Purdy’s cooperation.

According to sources, the NAEC Board of Directors voted earlier this week to retain Purdy as general manager until Oct. 6. Purdy has been employed by NAEC for approximately 30 years, the last 20 years as general manager.

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