The latest question from Southern Company insiders is: When will Jeff Peoples be ousted?
The appointment in January of Jeff Peoples as Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power after Mark A. Crosswhite’s abrupt ouster during Thanksgiving week in 2022 is seen as a stopgap appointment in that Peoples, 63 at the time of his appointment, has mandatory retirement at 65 years of age.
Peoples has maintained the extremely controversial relationship with “Sloppy Joe” Perkins, the founder of Matrix, LLC, the consulting firm that engaged in alleged unethical if not criminal misconduct and whose entities received over $2.2 million a year in compensation without the need to invoice. Peoples has also kept embattled law firm Balch & Bingham on retainer.
Perkins, the Oompa Loompa of Alabama politics, has been seen at the headquarters of Alabama Power allegedly acting like a miniature-sized kingpin, beaming as if he owned the place.
Over the weekend, DonaldWatkins.com released a bombshell document: handwritten notes written in 2017 from Sloppy Joe, and it shows the unbelievable entanglement of Peoples with Perkins.
Donald Watkins writes:
At this juncture, the Southern Company cannot terminate its business relationship with Joe Perkins. Why? Perkins has a mountain of documented “dirt” on Southern Company senior management executives which could result in criminal charges and jail time for many of them.
For example, the “Homewood Notes” Joe Perkins made during an April 6, 2017, meeting with a top Southern Company executive and others document part of a sophisticated, multi-state accounting fraud scheme and ongoing racketeering enterprise….
Perkins’ notes suggested that Nancy Sykes, then-Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Southern Company Services, James Gravie, then-Senior Vice President in Human Resources for Total Rewards and Technology, and Jeff Peoples, then-Executive Vice President of Customer and Employee Services at Alabama Power Company, could submit an “anonymous complaint” to the Southern Company board of directors that “would require an investigation” into the matters discussed during the April 6th meeting. According to the plan that was pitched during the meeting, they would “mention [Mark] Crosswhite in the complaint.”
Matrix used a private investigator named “Derreck (sic)” (meaning, Derek Uman) to do “research” on Kim Tananka (sic), Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning’s then-girlfriend (whose correct name is Kim Tanaka). The participants believed the anonymous complaint “need[ed] more intel” on Ms. Tanaka. Interestingly, Ms. Tanaka was an innocent party who held no position in any Southern Company business entity at the time she was targeted for clandestine surveillance activities.
Peoples never filed any such complaint with the Southern Company board of directors, or with anyone else.
Sloppy Joe Perkins has maintained that he was not involved in the surveillance of Tanaka or Fanning.
Alabama Media Group reported in August:
Uman, founder of Clear Capture Investigations of Gainesville, Fla., staked out Fanning’s Atlanta home and photographed him running on a wooded hill on a cul-de-sac leading to his secluded house. Uman followed and videoed Tanaka, gathered photos and billed then-Matrix CEO [Jeff] Pitts $6,881.55 for surveillance, travel, meals and more. Uman addressed the invoice to Pitts.
Uman, who said he has done lots of work for Matrix, refused to talk about the content of his investigation, saying that would be illegal. He did confirm the authenticity of the report, and said the invoice “was paid with a Matrix check that was signed by Joe Perkins.”
Perkins said most Matrix checks are signed electronically and that he believed Matrix did not pay the invoice, which was directed to Pitts.
“I have never communicated with that man,” Perkins said. “I don’t know what check he has, but I don’t sign most of the checks that come out of the companies. They are automatic signatures. That’s just untrue.”
Later, Perkins said he had staff search Matrix records for a payment to Clear Capture in that amount and found none. Nor did they find any copies of the invoice provided to AL.com.
“Let me be clear, neither I nor Matrix had anything to do with the Tanaka surveillance,” Perkins said. “The Tanaka surveillance was contracted and overseen by Jeff, without my permission or knowledge.”
The handwritten notes appear to show that Joe Perkins assigned several tasks in red ink to J.P., Jeff Pitts, Perkins’ once-protégé and the ex-CEO of Matrix.
Perkins has consistently told media that Pitts was a “rogue” employee who engaged in activities without his knowledge.
The notes appear to contradict Perkins.
Sex and Photographs…
The surveillance of Tanaka and Fanning was allegedly to obtain photographic evidence that Fanning was bisexual, according to sources familiar with the surveillance that occurred in 2017.
Photographs of Fanning having relations with a boy toy could have been used to oust him or even blackmail him to resign.
Fanning was highly vulnerable in 2017 with two Southern Company boondoggles: the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia and the Kemper Project in Mississippi both of which had cost overruns in the tens of billions.
And the handwritten notes published by Watkins proves unequivocally that both boondoggles were being used to attempt to manipulate senior leadership.
In closing, we ask:
- What other photographs capturing embarrassing moments or sexual misconduct do Matrix or related entities have or not have?
- Why is Peoples kowtowing to Perkins?
- Will the King & Spalding probe force both Peoples and Perkins out?