Taos Gangsters on Cruz Alta St: “Its illegal!”

By: Bill Whaley
8 January, 2017

El Reyes and the 11 Families

During the last few months of 2016, El Reyes (aka KCEC CEO Luis Reyes), who controls ten of 11 local “mafia” families (aka “Trustees”) at the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc., has allegedly “taken” hundreds of thousands of dollars from non-residential and residential rate-payers, including local government entities (town, county, schools, hospitals, villages, etc.) due to avaricious policies re: electrical charges.

If you don’t pay KCEC, the Coop has the authority to “cut-off” your power. In the criminal world of dons, hit men, and “omerta,” we call these practices “extortion” or “blackmail” and “bribery.”

According to an “application for rehearing” filed at the PRC on Jan. 6, 2017, of the endless KCEC/PRC 2015-2016 rate request hearings, Intervener Rose Des Georges alleges that KCEC has engaged in a number of “retroactive” billing procedures i.e. billing residents for higher electricity charges prior to PRC approval of said rate increases.

To wit:

Des Georges asserts that in the Revised Advice Notice, Page 1 of 6, information specified relates to Rate No. 1, the Residential Service customer; a System Charge of $20.50 is to be applied per billing period per service, PLUS per kWh Energy Charges based on usage blocks; 0-750 kWh/ $0.11349, 751-1250 kWh/ $0.12430, and Over 1,250 kWh/ $0.13511.

Des Georges provides for reference additional information from KCEC website that shows Approved Rates, effective As Of December 12.

Furthermore, Des Georges submits as evidence several examples of KCEC customer utility bills which demonstrate undeniably that the increased System and Energy Charges were applied to customer usage for Service Periods which were prior to the Final Order of December 7, 2016 and decidedly prior to the Effective Date of December 14, 2016 which KCEC detailed in their Revised Advice.

Des Georges argues that the documentation provided demonstrates that KCEC implemented the increased rate on their Residential utility customers retroactively.

Good Little Gangsters

Ten Trustees, including Taos area representatives Manuel Medina, David Torres, Bob Bresnahan, and Luisa Mylet have all supported the rate increase as well as the nefarious and disastrous Guzman buyout for $37 million of Tri-State. Credit the Guzman deal for your current skyrocketing electric power bills. (Reyes and the Trustees blame everyone in the universe for the Coop expenses except the faces in the mirror.)

All trustees march in lock step and support the Chief’s policy of borrow and spend except one. The lone holdout, who voted “no” on rate increases and “allegedly” questioned three weeks of paid vacation for the CEO, was Virgil Martinez. The man from Cerro was then pummeled to the ground by the Coop’s brutal enforcement tactics.

See results below…after Virgil visited the emergency room at Holy Cross Hospital. Virgil and the alleged perp, i.e. Chris “Kid” Duran (No Mas!) will be arraigned on Jan. 10, 10 am at Judge Dickie’s Muni Court.

Virgil

Remedies

Intervener Link Summers also filed an application for re-hearing at the PRC, based on the misrepresentations and/or omissions in KCEC’s consolidated financial reports.

Intervener William Whaley, who called the hearings “fatally flawed,” also filed and argued that the general mismanagement of the cooperative in terms of electricity and diversification policies (borrow and spend) for the last 16 years has sunk the Coop into hopeless debt. The journalist quotes Intervener and retired Judge, Peggy Nelson who argued that there were violations of due process and lack of notice to “non-residential” members i.e. commercial, business, and local government entities, when the PRC considered the KCEC rate increase that went into effect in September of 2016. (The arguments continue ad nauseam. You can email Whaley for copies of filings.)

At the Thursday, Jan. 5 meeting of KCEC Interveners and Activists at Las Pistoleras, representatives of the Town of Taos were urged to contact TSV, Taos County, merchants and other electricity consumers to devise a legal strategy for dealing with KCEC’s “illegal takings.” Since the PRC has exhibited a complicit alliance with the Coop, Whaley says the judiciary is the next step.  “Until the Town, County, merchants, and Taos News wake-up, KCEC will continue to exploit every member of the Coop as Reyes and the gang raid both public and private purses.”

My Literary Fallacy: Rose: “the Lawn-mower’s Daughter”

Each time I think of Rose Des Georges, I see Shorty’s sign, a lawnmower, hanging from the tree on Upper Ranchitos Road. Shorty’s her Dad. Few repairmen in Taos have earned more respect than Shorty, whose magic applied to lawnmowers and weed-eaters is legend.

I’ve only come to know Rose as an Intervener, during the last year. One takes a Taoseno/a at his or her word in light of sentiments and actions. At the beginning of this KCEC journey last year, Rose mentioned she had more time for activism now that she had retired from the “lab” after 34 years, i.e. more time for her Church and the Ancianos as well as her elderly parents. She represents the salt-of-the earth Taos woman we all know and love i.e. “Salt of the Earth.”

When we Interveners testified in Santa Fe and mentioned our backgrounds, my ears perked up and I thought of the courageous and well-prepared “Bess,” i.e. “the landlord’s daughter” in Alfred Noyes, “The Highwayman.” Just as Bess outwitted the Redcoats and warned “The Highwayman,”, so Rose has gathered up the evidence and warned the KCEC members of treachery at the Coop.

Rose introduced herself to the hearing examiner as a 1981 graduate of Stanford, one of four women who took “electrical engineering degrees.” Among other projects she designed and built satellite systems at Los Alamos (for 32 years). Seeing through the foibles and mishaps of the KCEC Broadband project (what business and engineering plan?) was a snap for Rose.

Honest, like Shorty, Rose said, referring to the above KCEC retroactive billing, “It’s illegal.”

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