Attorney General Andy Beshear is calling for the appointment of a receiver or independent supervisor to ensure nearly $8 million in current state and federal funded projects to improve the water system in Martin County are completed and not mishandled by the water district.
Beshear’s office chronicles years of inept leadership by the Martin County Water District in a 13-page report prepared by the AG’s Office of Rate Intervention.
“The district can no longer be trusted to run its operations as the people of Martin County suffer,” Beshear said. “The district has failed to follow three ‘road maps’ that would have provided a path to sustainability, and now the only path forward for the future of Martin County is an outside receiver.”
Beshear’s Department of Criminal Investigations has an ongoing investigation into financial mismanagement claims. Any findings, Beshear said, will be presented to the Martin County Commonwealth’s Attorney for review.
Beshear’s Office of Rate Intervention reviewed numerous documents and conducted local interviews in Martin County. The report outlines the numerous improvement guidelines or “road maps” the water district has almost completely ignored since 2002.
The report concludes that failure by local authorities to follow these road maps is a major reason why the district continues to struggle and not improve.
Kentucky law allows the Public Service Commission to go through Franklin Circuit Court to appoint a receiver, who would temporarily control and manage the assets and operations of the water district.
Beshear said that with the nearly $8 million dollars of taxpayer funded ongoing infrastructure projects, a receiver is the only way to ensure the projects and the day-to-day operations are properly handled and do not follow the “historic pattern” of being mishandled to the detriment of the citizens of Martin County.
(provided by Office of the Attorney General)