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La Plata Electric Association members allege campaign mailing lists improperly shared

CEO says he has no evidence of a violation
La Plata Electric Association’s Attorney Shay Denning addresses the crowd at the co-op’s annual meeting Saturday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort. Members raised concerns at the meeting that mailing lists meant to be used for campaign purposes were improperly shared. CEO Mike Dreyspring said he had no evidence of wrong doing.

Some La Plata Electric Association members are concerned that customers’ addresses may have been inappropriately shared with a third party during the co-op’s election.

During a meeting for LPEA members Saturday, Sarah Ferrell asked CEO Mike Dreyspring about possible violations of the co-op’s policy, which prohibits LPEA candidates from inappropriately sharing the mailing lists.

LPEA provides board candidates with contact information to send out campaign information, but prohibits them from using that information for any other purposes, LPEA’s attorney Shay Denning said.

Concerned citizens told LPEA before Saturday’s meeting that a candidate or candidates had given member addresses to San Juan Citizens Alliance during the election, she said. The nonprofit backed LPEA candidates Britt Bassett, Tim Wheeler, Jeff Mannix and Kirsten Skeehan.

“I just hope LPEA looks into this,” she said, in an interview.

She said she had no problem with mailing addresses being shared with printing companies. But there is a big difference between a printing company and San Juan Citizens Alliance, she said.

“If the CEO and the board of directors are not going to keep candidates accountable. We have to,” she said.

Dreyspring told the crowd he had no evidence the mailing list was shared improperly.

Bassett said he provided an edited mailing list to San Juan Citizens Alliance, which helped him with marketing and graphics.

He said the nonprofit won’t use the mailing list for anything but his campaign and it has probably already destroyed it.

“Everybody uses some kind of an agent to reach out to their members,” he said.

He didn’t see a distinction between using San Juan Citizens Alliance and another organization to help with marketing.

“I am discouraged that members are still looking for ways to attack results,” he said.

San Juan Citizens Alliance’s Executive Director Mark Pearson said his organization did not have the mailing list.

“I don’t see what value there would be in having that list,” he said.

The LPEA board is likely to review the allegations at a board meeting this week, Denning said.

Candidates sign a nondisclosure agreement when they accept the mailing lists, she said.

“If there was a breach of that agreement, it would be a breach of contract,” she said.

If the one of the candidates did violate LPEA’s policy against sharing addresses, it would not disqualify them from holding a board seat, Denning said. But LPEA could sue them, she said.

Bassett and Skeehan, who were backed by San Juan Citizens Alliance, would have the chance to review the allegations as board members. But if the board decided to take a vote on one LPEA director’s actions, the individual would not get to vote, she said.


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