Robert Shaw Allegedly Threatens
Lawsuit Against the Newberry CSD
What appears as frivolous litigation is threatened.
Shaw apparently believes that the Senior Center has a legal right
to seize community directed funds.
• Editorial •
November 29, 2012
At the monthy general meeting of the Newberry Springs Senior Service
Association on November 19, 2012, it is reported that Robert Shaw, husband of President Ronnie
Shaw, made a public statement threatening to sue the Newberry Community Service District (CSD)
if the service district did not release CSD controlled community funds to the senior center.
This statement came despite the fact that the senior center has twice
earlier received a reported total of $33,000 to assist the PRIVATE association become solvent.
Each time that the senior association comes before the CSD, the association asks for a greater
amount of money.
Due to mismanagement, the association has continued to operate in the
red. It would appear ludicrous and a failure of the CSD's fiduciary responsibility, as
the overseer of the Kiewit-Pacific community funds, to grant the senior association their
additional request for yet more operational money.
Is the CSD prudently barred from granting the request?
The threat that has come from the November 2012 senior assocation's
general directors' meeting may have temporarily barred the CSD from the discretionary granting
of the seniors' request as the CSD cannot now, under the direct hostile duress of a threatened
lawsuit, freely grant the request.
Without legal counsel, the CSD should not even be in discussions with
the senior association with the threat of a pending lawsuit weighing over them. Why is the
CSD board continuing negotiations without legal counsel?
The CSD's powers are delegated by LAFCO and are limited.
The Newberry CSD is an organization that is organizated under the Local
Agency Formation Commission for San Berardino County (LAFCO). The CSD's powers are
solely those that are specifically granted by LAFCO.
Is the CSD improperly acting as a trustee?
The sole powers of the CSD as granted by LAFCO may arguably not include the
liability of taking on the large role of acting as a fiduciary trustee for a private transaction
between multiple parties; even if the CSD was a party to the transaction. This
raises a question as to whether a meddling CSD was properly acting in a legal capacity in the
negotiations with Kiewit-Pacific or whether the governmental matter with Kiewit-Pacific was
under county authority. The parties settled on the appeal before a decision or legal filing.
The CSD directly involved itself in a strong-arm tactical appeal against a
county permit regarding Kiewit-Pacific. With limited authority under LAFCO, and being a county
authorized entity under State Law, can a CSD properly file an external appeal against the
county? An appeal is a precursor to litigation.
The underlying question is who is legally responsible for repayment to the
community's fund for financial losses due to negligent mismanagement? This is not money from
the General Fund but from a special TRUST FUND where extra cautious fiduciary duty is owed.
Is the CSD insured for this? To name two problems, we have thousands of dollars wasted on
the fiasco purchase of a road grader that many in the community adamantly warned against acquiring;
and already $33,000 of unmonitored services connected with the senior association are apparently
not financially documented.
As the Newberry CSD has been acting as a fiduciary trustee over the extorted
Kiewit-Pacific "donation gift" to the community, the mismanaged fund has dropped
by over $200,000 without commensurable benefits to the community for the thousands of dollars
expended. The fund balance may increase should the proceeds from the sale of a road grader
(that was purchased with the funds and is now being sold at a loss) is replaced into the fund.
Are the individual CSD board members liable?
It could be argued that the individual CSD board members may have
over extended their legal authority by controlling and managing the trust funds. They may have
INDIVIDUALLY gone beyond the scope of the legal descriptions of their duties
and they may have placed themselves as liable for the replacement of the Kiewit-Pacific funds that
have been lost or not documented.
The CSD board members may be liable for the reckless loss of tens of
thousands of dollars.
The CSD board members may hold a conflict of interest regarding the senior center.
Excluding the small, local Subway shop and the tourist oriented Bagdad
Café, the senior center's Drifting Sands Café is the only facility that offers a full
menu. Subsequently, it is believed that most of the CSD board members regularly
patrionize the restaurant and do hold a personal monetary bias for it to remain in
operation as its closure would require costly travel for similar food service.
Although not known by this source, some CSD board members may also
have a conflict of interest in holding a membership in the senior association and/or have an
immediate family member that holds membership.
The Senior Center was not part of the community decided distribution
of the Kiewit-Pacific funds.
When the Kiewit-Pacific community funds were made available, an
extensive community-wide survey was undertaken to determine how the funds should be
distributed. Numerous ideas were submitted and the information compiled. One of
the top two items included funding for youth oriented projects. Not one respondent in the survey
voiced an interest in any funding being directed to the Newberry Springs Senior Service Association
or its senior center.
Despite this community survey directive, the CSD board trustees have
twice sent bail out funding to support the senior association. The youth have yet to be
beneficiaries. It is fitting that all of the remaining Kiewit-Pacific community funds, including
proceeds from the road grader's sale, be utilized for the benefit of the youth of our community.
It is time to build something with the funds that will last and that all may enjoy.
• • •