Former board member blasts JWC

JENKINSVILLE – Jenkinsville Water Company leaders “willfully” provided false and misleading information about the water company’s ability to provide water service to its customers, according to documents filed in Broad River Campground’s ongoing lawsuit against the JWC.

Also filed recently is a sworn affidavit from former JWC board member Lori Smith, who issued a blistering rebuke of the water company and its president, Gregrey Ginyard.

“Mr. Ginyard did not hold up JWC’s part of the bargain with the Campground because he never allowed the Campground to use the full amount of water JWC agreed to provide contractually,” the affidavit states.

A circuit judge is expected to rule soon on whether or not to accept amended litigation that says Ginyard and vice president Joseph McBride broke an agreement to provide water services to the Campground.

In previous filings, the JWC said water is a finite resource that must be regulated. It has denied entering into a contract, saying what the campground considers a contract was actually a letter outlining water capacity.

“JWC’s actions did not harm the public interests, as the Company acted prudently to ensure that the water would be conserved properly and would be available to other customers and potential customers,” the filing states. “The parties never had a meeting of the minds and never entered into a valid contract.”

A campground attorney also filed a motion to consolidate the case with two related cases that name Ginyard and McBride individually.

Circuit Judge Grace Knie took both motions under advisement. She also directed attorneys for the campground and JWC to prepare proposed orders within 10 days of an order she signed June 7.

Campground attorney Glenn Bowens said in court documents that the amended complaint was necessary due to new information unearthed during discovery, court documents state.

The amended complaint includes numerous new allegations.

For example, court documents state the JWC denied water service in 2014 to additional campground sites despite having more than 76 million gallons of unused water capacity.

The amended complaint also states the JWC gives residential customers preferential treatment over commercial customers. Water service was denied to a church and businesses, while granted to private residents, the litigation states.

Additionally, the JWC board commits to courses of action while in executive session, the lawsuit states.

The state’s Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, prohibits public bodies from voting or even conducting informal polls while in executive session.

“[The] policy of residents first and preferential treatment/more favorable for residents makes it likely the unfair and deceptive acts and practices will occur once again in the future,” the amended complaint states.

Smith, the former JWC board member, repeats many of the assertions from the amended complaint in her affidavit.

The affidavit includes new allegations as well, including one that says Ginyard often polled board members in advance of meetings.

“If Mr. Ginyard wanted a vote to go a particular way he would call Board members and try to get them to vote his way,” the document states. “He intimidated members of the Board who were supporting the campground.”

In the end, Smith said she resigned from the board, citing medical reasons.

“I resigned because of medical reasons due to the stress caused by the continuous hiding of information and false information being provided to the Board during the meetings.”