On May 31, former Pedernales Electric Cooperative lawyer Walter Demond, 63, was found guilty by a Kendall County jury. He had been charged with three first-degree felonies–theft, money laundering, and misapplication of fiduciary property.
Demond was found to have paid two relatives of former PEC officials by moving over $200,000 of PEC funds through Clark, Thomas & Winters, his former firm. The jury found him guilty of laundering more than $100,000 and misapplication of funds between $100,000 and $200,000.
The jury recommended 10 years of probation and a $10,000 fine. State District Judge Dan Mills sentenced Demond to 500 days in jail, as a condition of probation, and told him to pay $212,000 in restitution. The jail sentenced will be served in 100-day increments over five years.
In February, former PEC General Manager Bennie Fuelberg was found guilty of the same charges, albeit as third-degree felonies. State District Judge Dan Mills sentenced Fuelberg to five years’ probation, 300 days in county jail, 1,000 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $126,000 in restitution to the law firm.
Fuelberg’s jail time will be served in 30-day increments in order to allow Fuelberg to care for his terminally ill wife.
The restitution from both Demond and Fuelberg will not be paid to PEC; they are under orders to pay PEC’s former law firm, Clark, Thomas and Winters and its insurance company, which paid a $4.1 million settlement for the co-op last year.
Fuelberg is appealing his sentence, and Demond’s attorney, Rip Collins, told the Austin American Statesman that he planned to appeal as well.