Attorney General John Kroger announced today that the Oregon Department of Justice has joined a lawsuit seeking to force out management that had improperly used the Crooked River Ranch Water Company for personal gain.
"The management abused a non-profit water district for personal gain in violation of the law, and we're going to put a stop to it," Attorney General Kroger said.
The Department of Justice filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit that accuses the general manager of improperly borrowing money and equipment from the water district and taking excessive pay.
The lawsuit also accuses two district directors of using their positions to arrange contracts between their personal businesses and the Crooked River Ranch Water Company, which serves more than 3,800 people in Deschutes and Jefferson counties.
According to the suit, the directors invalidly dissolved the Crooked River Ranch Water Company and established the Crooked River Ranch Water Cooperative in an effort to avoid regulators.
The litigation seeks to remove the board and the general manager and turn over control of the district to professionals who will run it for the benefit of its members.
The Crooked River Ranch Water Company is a mutual benefit non-profit organized for the purpose of delivering domestic and irrigation water to the properties located on the Crooked River Ranch.
The Department of Justice on March 18 filed a motion to intervene in a 2008 lawsuit filed by Charles Nichols, a resident of Jefferson County and a Crooked River Ranch member.
The lawsuit is against the Crooked River Ranch Water Company and the Crooked River Ranch Water Cooperative; Richard A. Keen Jr., Randolph M. Scott, Brian A. Elliott, Richard J. Miller and John Coombs, who were board members of one or both of the entities; and James H. Rooks, general manager of the Crooked River Ranch Water Company and board member of the Crooked River Water Ranch Cooperative.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission has repeatedly taken action against the Crooked River Ranch Water Company.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org