WASHINGTON - A Nebraska court has ordered two public power executives associated with the Central Plains Energy Project to pay $3.3 million in damages to the American Public Energy Agency, a gas purchaser and bond issuer, ruling they took proprietary information about prepaid gas transactions that APEA helped to pioneer and conspired to use it to win contracts away from the agency.

The two executives are Evan Ward, director of capital strategies for the nonprofit Nebraska Municipal Power Pool, which provided energy-related services to APEA under contract, and J. Gary Stauffer, executive director of NMPP. In his July 8 decision, Lancaster County District Court Judge Steven D. Burns also prohibited the NMPP, Ward, Stauffer, and John Harms, a gas analyst and member of the NMPP management team, from participating in the Central Plains Energy Project.

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