By Atlanta Business Chronicle

Lawyers representing Cobb EMC President and CEO Dwight Brown filed a motion Thursday to prohibit the criminal prosecution of the utility executive from moving forward.

Brown was indicted by a Cobb County grand jury this month on multiple charges of theft, racketeering and making false statements in connection with business transactions he conducted involving Cobb Energy, an affiliate of Cobb EMC, and gas marketer SCANA allegedly without the knowledge of the electric cooperativeâ¿¿s members.

But in their ⿿plea and bar⿝ motion, Brown⿿s attorneys, former federal prosecutor Craig Gillen and former Gov. Roy Barnes, argue that Brown⿿s decisions were legal business judgments.

Six experts in the laws governing energy and utilities stood behind Gillen and Barnes during a news conference at Cobb EMCâ¿¿s Marietta headquarters in support of Brown and the motion to dismiss the criminal case.

One of the six, Dwight Davis, a partner with King & Spalding LLP, was retained by Cobb EMC to investigate the allegations and found no criminal wrongdoing.

⿿These are complicated business transactions,⿝ Gillen said. ⿿But just because it⿿s confusing doesn⿿t mean it⿿s illegal.⿝

Barnes said none of the six legal experts who advised Cobb EMC were called before the grand jury.

⿿If the full facts had been known by the grand jury, I doubt if there ever would have been an indictment,⿝ he said.

Brownâ¿¿s lawyers also said thereâ¿¿s nothing new in the criminal case that hasnâ¿¿t already been brought up in an ongoing civil lawsuit.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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