On Sept. 28, 2010, Marie Watkins requested copies of audits from the Co-op. Her request was denied. In their response, dated Oct. 5, the SEC replied:
“After discussing your letter with the SEC Attorney, he indicated that the Counterclaims filed against the SEC regarding the three resolutions are pending and information should not be released until all claims have been settled. Also, you must state in your letter the purpose for requesting the information.”
The following is her follow-up request.
To Socorro Electric Cooperative and All Board Members:
As a member in good standing, I am again requesting the following documents.
Annual Audits for the years 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2009-2010 RUS 7A for each year from 2005 to the present
The purpose of my request is to find out how much loan money we as a co-op have borrowed, how it was spent, who actually received the money (which our contractors were paid), how our system was repaired, upgraded and extended, where in our service area these projects were and what we got for our money (more reliable service? new customers? etc.) Since we are being asked to accept a rate increase, this information concerning completed projects would provide a reasonable explanation for such an increase. As the reports of overcharges and irregular use of co-op funds prove, little or no oversight has been given to financial matters by the SEC. I want to see for myself the history of expenditures by the board.
The current bylaws, as voted on by the members, requires you to abide by the Open Records Act. The only reason I can see for withholding this information is fear of what it will reveal.