BVU says no more rolling 10-year employee contracts

BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – Bristol Virginia Utilities said it will no longer allow 10-year employee contracts like that of former Chief Financial Officer Stacey Pomrenke.

Friday, a federal jury convicted Pomrenke of 14 of 15 charges against her.

Those charges involved not reporting fringe benefits on tax returns, soliciting thousands of dollars from vendors to pay for BVU parties, and getting bribes and kickbacks as a public official like sporting event tickets and spa gift cards.

She is the seventh person found guilty in the federal corruption investigation of BVU.

Up until just a few days ago Pomrenke was employed as BVU’s CFO, even during her two-week federal trial.

According to evidence presented in her trial by the government, in 2014 Pomrenke was making about $220,000.

Stacey Pomrenke
A federal jury Bristol Virginia Utilities Chief Financial Officer Stacey Pomrenke guilty of 14 out of 15 counts, except count No. 6, which is an extortion charge related to a bar tab the government said a vendor picked up for BVU.

Her rolling 10-year contract, signed in 2010 said if BVU involuntarily terminates Pomrenke for a “major cause” she will receive no salary or other benefits beyond the last day preceding termination.

Two of the “major causes” are fraud or embezzlement, and confession to or conviction of a felony.

If BVU fired her for another reason, the public utility would have had to pay her for the remainder of her contract as if she finished it out.

BVU board member Doug Fleenor was one of the first to publicly speak about the corruption at BVU.

When we talked to him after the verdict Friday, he said he asked questions about her contract years ago but they went ignored.

“I’m an attorney and practicing for 23,24 years, I have never seen a contract where someone can’t be terminated unless they’re convicted of a felony,” Fleenor said.

A spokesperson for BVU told us new employment policies say no employment contract can exceed three years.

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