Hearing in Grady EMC?suit to be held August 18

The first court date in what could be a long and protracted court battle between disgruntled members of the Grady Electric Membership Corporation and the co-op’s current and former managers and board of directors has finally been scheduled.
A hearing set to begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18 at the Grady County Courthouse will give the plaintiffs in the case their first day in court.
Plaintiffs in the case include Gordon Clyatt, Ronald Sellars, C. Seaborn Roddenbery, Jerome J. Ellis and Roy Brock. They are being represented by Valdosta attorneys George T. Talley and Edward F. Preston.
The plaintiffs recently filed an amended motion seeking to inspect EMC records, a motion to compel responses to discovery and a third amendment to the plaintiff’s complaint.
Judge Loring Gray, at the urging of lawyers representing all parties, scheduled the hearing for Aug. 18.
The three latest motions to be filed were filed July 22. In the first amended motion to inspect records, the plaintiffs challenge Grady Electric Membership Corporation’s failure to allow plaintiff Gordon Clyatt to inspect EMC records in accordance with state law.
In the motion filed two weeks ago it states, “Grady EMC may not strike O.C.G.A §46-2-271 from the Official Code of Georgia simply because it wants to prevent members in good standing from determining whether the management of Grady EMC have engaged in waste, mismanagement, self-dealing and other breaches of fiduciary duties.”
In the motion to compel responses, the plaintiffs’ attorneys argue, “Although Defendants raised a number of objections, they did not answer a single interrogatory, and did not produce a single document.”
Plaintiffs also request an order directing the defendants to produce the requested documents and information with 10 days of entry of the order, extending discovery by six months and awarding plaintiffs their reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees incurred in prosecuting this motion.
The most recent court filings follow a flurry of documents that were filed in June in the Grady County Clerk of Superior Court’s office. As of late Tuesday, Judge Gray had not ruled on any of the motions filed.
Grady EMC attorneys filed an emergency motion to stay discovery on May 28 in an attempt to keep information sought by the plaintiffs in the case confidential.
The plaintiffs are seeking information from both Grady EMC and United National Bank concerning Grady EMC’s purchase and subsequent sale of UNB stock to Thomas A. Rosser Sr. They want information from EMC regarding work performed by Grady EMC mechanics on personal vehicles belonging to Rosser Sr., the $3.8 million renovation of the EMC headquarters, the purchase of a large tract of land on GA Hwy. 112, and more.
Greg Michell, attorney for Thomas A. Rosser Sr., filed an objection in June to the production of documents from United National Bank.
In his court filing, Michell highlighted six sets of documents being requested of the bank by the plaintiffs related to Rosser’s financial interest and association with the local bank.
Court documents filed June 4, show that United National Bank has retained Kimberly Guthrie of Gardner, Willis, Sweat & Handelman, LLP, in Albany to represent the bank.
According to Mrs. Guthrie’s filing, she has presented a copy of the bank’s responses and objections to the plaintiff’s request for production of documents to a nonparty. The bank’s response is not a public record and is not included in the documents filed in the clerk’s office.
The plaintiffs are suing the EMC over the way it retains capital credits, then only disburses them to deceased members, and for business decisions made including using EMC funds to purchase stock in United National Bank and then selling the stock to Thomas A. Rosser Sr., while financing the purchase with a loan from the co-op, among other things.
In addition to Rosser Sr., and the EMC, the defendants include EMC board of directors members Dewey Brock Jr., Caylor Outzs, Lamar Carlton, James Freeman, Lamar Strickland, Robert E. Lee, James Lewis, and current EMC General Manager Thomas A. (Bo) Rosser Jr.
Rosser Sr. is being represented in this matter by Greg Michell of Stanley, Esrey & Buckley of Atlanta. Other attorneys for the defendants include Hugh B. McNatt of Vidalia; T. Joshua, R. Archer, M. Anne Kaufold-Wiggins, and Matthew B. Ames of Balch & Bingham of Atlanta; M. Claire Chason of the Chason Law Firm in Cairo; V. Gail Lane of Altman & Lane in Thomasville; and Thomas Conger of Bainbridge.
Between July 23, 2014, and Aug. 27, 2014, the plaintiffs placed six advertisements in The Messenger raising their concerns with the operation and management of Grady EMC. The plaintiffs filed suit on Oct. 7, 2014.
The defendants then requested a 60-day extension to file an answer to the original complaint, which the plaintiffs agreed to.
The plaintiffs later granted the defendants an additional extension when they amended their complaint on Dec. 23, 2014. The defendants filed their answer on Jan. 26, 2015, and filed a motion to dismiss. By doing so, they automatically obtained a 90-day stay of discovery.
According to court documents, the defendants took no action to schedule a hearing on their motion during the 90-day stay period and the stay automatically expired after 90 days.

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