PAHRUMP — Nye County Sheriff's Office conducted a search warrant on Feb. 22 at Valley Electric Association for financial and administrative records.
The county received allegations that former CEO Tom Husted sexually harassed a female employee and had key management employees sign non disclosure agreements, paid them hush money and those employees received additional benefits.
The continuous payments may have contributed to Valley Electric's recent rate hike, according to authorities.
Valley Electric is now giving their side of the story.
In a statement released Saturday, their current CEO says the Sheriff’s Office’s claims are unfounded, and that they may pursuing legal action themselves.
Current CEO Angela Evans who took over after Husted's departure in April of 2018 and says “she had no knowledge of the allegations before reading the affidavit, and as far as she knew, neither did any other employee.”
Valley Electric also tells 13 Action News employees were left in the dark regarding the reasons for the search which went on for hours.
“VEA is investigating whether the search violated Nevada law and the constitutional rights of those who were detained."
Meantime the Nye CountySheriff’s Office is still asking those who have signed the dotted line to come forward.
“Although many people may have signed the non disclosure agreement, this as now become a criminal investigation and as a witness, you are entitled to protection,” says Sgt. Adam Tippettes
13 Action News combed through newly-released documents that detail why Valley Electric’s rates went up and if they went up because of those alleged hush money pay outs.
On February 14th, VEA told its members that an increase in rates followed a forensic review of Valley Electric's financial activities.
Hinton-Burdick reviewed VEA from January 2016 to July of 2018 and says they found no significant transactions lacking supporting documentation.
The Nye County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to contact authorities.