Accused in Monterey desalination case pleads not guilty
05 Dec 11 by desalination
The ex water-agency member at the centre of the hiatus in the Monterey desalination project in California pleaded not guilty last week when he appeared to answer charges that he accepted payment for work associated with the project and also for work he never did at all.
Steve Collins, former board member of the Monterey Water Resources Control Agency, was arraigned in Monterey County Superior Court on 33 felony counts and six misdemeanors. His next court appearance was scheduled for 7 December 2011, when a date for a preliminary hearing is expected to be set.
The charges include two felony counts alleging Collins had a financial interest in three key project agreements he helped create. Collins was paid US$ 160,000 by RMC Water & Environment for work on the 10 MGD (37,850 m³/d) Regional Desalination Project while he was on the agency board.
RMC was subsequently awarded the US$ 28 million project management contract.
Collins also faces 31 felony counts of grand theft under false pretenses for being paid by Ocean Mist Farms over 2½ years for work prosecutors allege he never did.
In addition, Collins faces six misdemeanor counts for accepting payments from Ocean Mist that he wasn’t entitled to as a public official for attending a series of water board-related meetings
The Monterey Herald reported that, outside court, Lawrence repeated the defense’s contention that Collins was “recruited” by county officials to work on behalf of the desalination project, which was intended to replace water from the Carmel river which faces a state-ordered cutback.
Login on register to comment
A world leader committed to preserving resources through desalination and reuse
The Group designs
Leading expert delivers online masterclass on membrane fouling
There is only one week left to register for this exciting new format of online event and deepen your understanding of membrane fouling in only one hour.
Singapore International Water Week Turns 10 Years: Celebrating a Decade of Accomplishment in the Global Water Industry
The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) is the world's premier platform to connect the water industry for innovative solutions and sustainable urban water management. The biennial event gathers stakeholders from the global water industry to share best practices
Related supplier content
Xylem reuse system to up potable water supply in Los Angeles
Water technology company
Sterlitech offers new ultrafiltration membranes
Laboratory products and membrane testing firm Sterlitech is offering Synder Filtration's recently developed ultrafiltration membranes
Osmoflo reports concentrate reduction success
Australian desalination company Osmoflo has reported success with site tests of its concentrate reduction technology for reverse osmosis (RO) plants. The firm said its Brine Squeezer system increased recovery from 80% to 95% in a mine wastewater recovery pilot.