Marina Coast Files $20 Million Claim Against the County
June 29, 2012
Marina Coast Water District isn't going away without a fight. The district filed a claim Friday against the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and the Water Resources Agency, alleging their former Regional Water Project Partners may owe them more than $20 million.
The claim tells a story not unlike the one former MCWRA board member Steve Collins tells in his own $25 million lawsuit against the county for defamation; County Counsel and supervisors Dave Potter and Lou Calcagno along with former MCWRA General Manager Curtis Weeks hatched a plan to make sure Collins could get paid for his time pushing the project.
Those alleged agreements led to a $160,000 deal for Collins, who was being paid by project contractor RMC while he was repping the county. This ultimately led to a slew of criminal charges, and an ongoing conflict-of-interest investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Now Marina Coast alleges the county owes them for breach of contract for its failure to follow through on the water purchase agreements that formed the basis of the desal project.
"To the extent that the [regional desal project] is not implemented, Marina Coast Water District has been deprived of the benefit of its bargain under the [project] agreements. Upon request, Marina Coast will provide a good faith estimate of its damages," the claim states.
The claim also accuses the county and California American Water of ditching the project too quickly and of backroom negotiations over repealing the county's ordinance prohibiting privately owned desal facilities.
Marina Coast's claim, prepared by the San Francisco-based law firm Friedman Dumas & Springwater, also calls out Weeks for forming CollinsWeeks Consulting, LLC, in early 2010 with Collins and alleges they planned to have a major role in managing the water project.