‘Drain the swamp’: Petition to remove Valley Electric board circulates around Nye County

Local News

Ken Johnson needs 2,000 signatures to recall the Valley Electric Association Board, and he suspects he’ll get that number soon. 

“Within 10-months, the company went from everything is rosy and wonderful and 5-years of rate stability and job growth to now this and there’s no answers,” Johnson said. 

VEA is a member-owned cooperative in Pahrump that provides electric service to more than 45,000 people. Johnson is one of those members.

“They’ve failed their duty,” Johnson said. 

After news spread that a recent rate hike may have something to do with a sexual harassment cover-up, a spokesperson for the VEA denied the claims.

“The rate increase was driven primarily by VEA’s increasing cost of service over the past 10-years since the last permanent rate increase,” according to Michael Hengel. 

But, that’s far from what people in Pahrump believe.

“The whole town is dissatisfied,” said customer Fred Witmer. “We’re run by Valley Electric. That’s it. We don’t have anyone else here.” 

Though the current VEA CEO Angela Evans says no one at Valley is under investigation, the sheriff’s department says that is a lie. 

On Monday night, the Nye County sheriff’s office released a 10-minute video responding to the VEA’s claims, calling them “inaccurate.”

Police confirmed that the current CEO, the Board of Directors, Human Resources and Finance employees are all under investigation. 

“Drain the swamp. Sorry. That’s what I think,” Whitmer said. 

Police say they are also investigating that the former CEO Thomas Husted is still receiving his salary months after he left the company. 

“No executives are on administrative leave. They have not expressed any concern that maybe something like this has gone on without their knowledge and that is just completely bizarre,” according to Johnson. 
 

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