GLASGOW – The chairman of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors, D.T. Froedge, has been found to be in contempt of court for violating the confidentiality provision of a mediation agreement.
The EPB board of directors took part in a court-ordered mediation Oct. 20 at the utility company’s office on Mallory Drive.
The purpose of the mediation was for the EPB’s board of directors to try to resolve its differences. All participants in the mediation signed a confidentiality agreement before the discussions.
A court hearing regarding the alleged violation of the confidentiality provision of the mediation took place Dec. 11. During that hearing, Froedge “ ... acknowledged he had forwarded an email concerning confidential mediation negotiations to his spouse,” according to a ruling by Barren Circuit Court Judge John Alexander.
The email contained the terms of a settlement offer in an ongoing civil lawsuit between Froedge and the board of directors. The email was then posted by Froedge’s wife on a Facebook page of a group characterized by Froedge during the court hearing as “a group of citizens interested in reforming the Electric Plant Board,” the ruling said.
The court has ordered the mediation to resume with the same mediator under the same terms and conditions established for the first mediation attempt. The court order also said all participants are to take part in “... good faith and in an earnest attempt to resolve their differences.”
As a result of Froedge being found in contempt, the court ordered him to pay the costs of the resumed mediation, including the mediator’s fee.
When asked how he felt about the ruling, Froedge said: “I really shouldn’t get into that. It’s just what happens. The judge feels we didn’t mediate in good faith. Letting my wife have a copy of it, which she posted on the internet after the mediation was over, was an act of bad faith.”
It was not the Facebook post that violated the court order, but rather the disclosure of the confidential material to a third party that violated the terms of the mediation agreement, the judge ruled.
Mediation efforts continued after Oct. 20 with attorney Paul Lawless, who represented Froedge, testifying at the Dec. 11 court hearing that he still thought an agreement might be reached.
Alexander wrote in his ruling that “it was (and remains) the Court’s intention to have the parties engage in a legitimate, good faith mediation with an eye towards resolving the issues for the citizens of Glasgow, Barren County, and the surrounding communities.”
A date for the mediation to resume has not been set.