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Valley’s interim CEO to depart from co-op headquartered in Pahrump

Valley Electric Association Inc.’s Interim CEO, Dick Peck, is departing from the co-op at the end of October, Valley announced in a news release on Monday.

The departure will leave Valley without a permanent replacement, though an interim leader is already planned for.

“It has been my pleasure to serve the members, employees and the board of directors of Valley for the past six months,” said Peck in a news release on Sept. 10. “A successful cooperative requires an involved membership, and VEA is on a path to becoming an outstanding co-op again. We are going to continue moving in that direction for the next seven weeks while I’m here.”

In the release from Valley, Peck, a 47-year veteran in the public power industry, also said that he enjoyed his time in Pahrump and was looking forward to rejoining his family in his home state of Alaska.

Peck has said on many occasions in public forums that he never intended to stay in the leadership role at Valley.

Peck’s current contract expires on Oct. 31, and he will leave the cooperative at that time, Valley Board Vice President Kathleen Keyes announced in Valley’s release.

Peck’s departure will leave the co-op without a permanent leader.

But current board member for Valley Electric’s District 5, Terrie D’Antonio of Sandy Valley, will serve as interim CEO as the co-op continues its search for a permanent leader. D’Antonio is the former CEO of nonprofit HELP of Southern Nevada.

According to Valley’s release, D’Antonio said she will not accept compensation during her time as interim CEO.

Valley Electric’s board of directors announced it contracted with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to facilitate its new CEO search process in mid-August.

Valley’s board hopes to have a new CEO selected by Thanksgiving, Keyes said in the co-op’s release.

Peck has been in his position since March 2019. He replaced Angela Evans, no longer with the co-op, after she was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement at the end of February. Evans was initially put on paid administrative leave in February, pending an internal investigation, with Valley’s board announcing her departure in early July.

Evans has been the only person arrested by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office since an investigation was launched into the co-op in February.

An investigation into Valley Electric was launched over allegations that “hush money” was paid to current and former Valley employees to keep quiet about former CEO Thomas Husted’s alleged sexual harassment of a female employee.

Husted has never been charged with a crime or arrested over the ongoing investigation by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

Peck is the fifth leader to be brought on at Valley in less than a year at that time on either a permanent, interim or acting basis. One candidate, Byron C. Nolde, was designated to take the role but changed his mind just days after being named.

D’Antonio will be the sixth leader of the co-op to be named since May 2018. When a permanent leader is named for Valley, that will be No. 7 since that time.

In Valley’s release, Key’s said Peck “has been instrumental in refocusing VEA toward the membership during the past six months, including the creation of four new committees that link members with the board and staff.”

“Dick came in at a difficult time, and he has done an outstanding job,” said Keyes in the release. “We would not be where we are today without his experience and leadership, and he is not done yet. I look forward to working with Dick through the end of October, and I join the rest of the board in wishing Dick the very best going forward.”

Committee and board changes

Valley’s board named new officers and committee chairs during a special meeting on Sept. 10, in light of the resignation of Rick Johnson, Valley Electric District 3 director for Beatty. He resigned at the end of August citing health and personal issues.

Johnson, who was serving as assistant secretary on Valley’s board, had been in his seat since 2007.

Keyes will serve as vice president with Michelle Caird, Valley Electric District 1 director (south Pahrump) serving as secretary. D’Antonio will serve as treasurer.

The board named Kathy Keyes of Fish Lake Valley (District 4) as vice president, Michelle Caird of South Pahrump (District 1) as secretary and Terrie D’Antonio of Sandy Valley (District 5) as treasurer.

Dave Hall, Valley’s District 2 director, will remain as president.

The member liaison and finance committees will be co-chaired by Caird and D’Antonio.

The policy committee will be co-chaired by Caird and Keyes.

Valley’s charitable foundation committee will remain the same, being led by D’Antonio and Dave Dawson, Valley District 6 director (north Pahrump).

A solar generation subcommittee will be co-chaired by Dawson and Keyes.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com on Twitter @MeehanLv

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