County Round-Up: Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From the Mohave Daily News

A Maricopa County judge has ordered the removal of former Mohave Electric Cooperative CEO Robert Broz as director of two MEC-related spinoff corporations. Broz, who was ousted from his post as CEO of MEC more than a year ago, had fought to remain as director of Western Competitive Solutions Inc., and Mohave Cooperative Services, Inc. Representatives of WCS and MCS filed a motion last December to remove Broz as a director and nine days of evidential hearings were held between May and September of this year. In the motion for removal, representatives of WCS and MCS claim that Broz led them to believe the companies were dormant when, in fact, they had been involved in a lucrative sales agreement with DirectTV. Broz never fully disclosed terms of that agreement with the board, nor called any formal board meetings. According to Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John A. Buttrick's findings, MEC management became aware of the deal after 2009, when Lyn Opalka, a member of the MEC board of directors, approached Broz about using WCS and MCS to purchase power. Broz, according to the court brief, informed Opalka that WCS and MCS were not "active" at that time. He told John Nelssen, another member of the board of directors, the same thing. WCS officials claim Broz had access to and used roughly $20 million in payments made by DirecTV from July 2004 to June 2010, but the companies had a little more than $7 million remaining after losses incurred from investments initiated by Broz without board approval or knowledge. Buttrick concluded that there was substantial evidence to support WCS' allegations of fraud under Arizona law and granted the motion, ruling that Broz be removed as director of both companies immediately. According to a release from MEC, the management of the two corporations will be taken over by Lyn Opalka, John Nelssen and J. Tyler Carlson. With Carlson acting as CEO, the new management will begin an immediate evaluation of the business model and assets of the two corporations before making decisions on the future of the two entities in Arizona and Nevada. It is unclear what recourse MEC - or WSC/MCS - has against Broz or his son, Shawn Broz, who was hired by his father to serve as CEO of Mohave Cooperative Services, Inc.

Bullhead City's locally founded community health center, River Cities Community Clinic, has agreed to merge its patient care operations with North Country HealthCare, a 20-year-old Flagstaff-based community health center that already has three Mohave County medical locations. River Cities' last day to see patients will be Friday; all patient records will transfer to North Country's Bullhead City location on Jan. 3 at 2585 S. Miracle Mile, Suite 116. RCCC will maintain limited non-medical operations through the spring to close accounts with patients and insurance companies. North Country's phone number is 928-704-1221; RCCC's phone line will be transferred there beginning Jan. 2. RCCC has more than 1,200 patients on its books.