The Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative board majority, now Los Sombras Siete, continues to violate its own bylaws in outrageous fashion. Where to start?
Los Sombras in early July removed Trustee Bruce Duran (illegally) from the Board. They tried to not let him sit at the Board table at the annual meeting Saturday, starting a scuffle, settled by a Sandoval County deputy. Duran got his seat.
Because there was no member quorum, the Board could not conduct business. That doesn’t mean there could not have been meaningful dialog between members and the Board. There’s a nefarious solar project about which the Board could have updated members. Representatives from Tri State Generation and Transmission were in attendance. Other cooperative heads were there.
While it was a good opportunity to inform the small group, then-president Nick Naranjo quickly closed the meeting, ending any meaningful communication.
Co-op bylaws state following the member meeting, the Board will meet and reorganize. This requires a quorum of trustees. The Board of Trustees has always operated under several rules regarding quorums:
• an official roll call is held to establish a quorum;
• a majority of the Board is a quorum (six);
• the trustee-at-large (John Tapia) is not a member (voting or otherwise) at the special meeting held after the annual meeting in odd numbered years.
Because the minority Board members left, the entire Board present at the special meeting for the illegal votes consisted of Nick Naranjo, Charlie Trujillo, Lucas Cordova, Dennis Trujillo and Leo Marquez. No roll call was held.
Rio Arriba County Assistant Manager Leo Marquez is the Co-op’s new president. He said Monday that at the special meeting Trustee Stanley Crawford walked into and out of the meeting room so that constituted a quorum. We wonder what color the sky is on Marquez’s home planet.
However, Los Sombras pressed on and with an illegal quorum voted John Tapia to remain as trustee-at-large. They then replaced Bruce Duran with former Pojoaque Pueblo governor George Rivera. Rivera should not get comfortable with his old buddies in his new position.
Duran was illegally removed by the Board and has since filed a lawsuit over the removal. We suspect an injunction will be issued soon returning Duran to the Board.
Because there was no quorum, Tapia was re-elected illegally. So the new illegal quorum did not have the power to put Rivera in Duran’s seat.
Marquez’s idea of establishing a quorum is not the biggest problem members should have with him.
Marquez is now the president of the Co-op, driving the agenda and the projects. He is a manager in the very entity leasing land to the company that will build the Co-op’s first solar array. Why the Rio Arriba County Commission and the Co-op Board of Trustees both feel fine with this cozy relationship speaks volumes to the problems in both of those governing bodies.
The desperation of this group of washed up politicians is palpable. The actions they’re taking are reckless and based in a very bad interpretation of their own bylaws by their attorney Chuck Garcia.
Garcia had a different justification for the illegal quorum. He said with Duran off the Board, the majority is five, which Los Sombras comprises.
He will be responsible for the woes Los Sombras will feel once Duran’s lawsuit is settled. Garcia incorrectly instructed the Board during its removal of Duran. He’s paid by the hour and does what he’s told. He’s not responsible for the Board’s criminal behavior. He’s just aiding (possibly abetting) in its demise.