Charges dropped against TCID |

Charges dropped against TCID

Steve Puterski
Nevada Appeal News Service

FALLON – The Truckee-Carson Irrigation District said Thursday all charges have been dropped in a federal indictment against TCID.

According to a press release, Judge James C. Mahan of the Federal District Court for the District of Nevada approved the dismissal with prejudice of all charges against TCID, Lyman McConnell, and John Baker in a federal indictment issued by a Grand Jury on Dec. 3, 2008.

“TCID has always asserted its innocence regarding these charges,” said Ernie Schank, president of the TCID board of directors. “In the face of some very significant motions filed by Michael Van Zandt, TCID’s defense counsel, based partially on alleged government misconduct during the investigation, and to its credit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Reno took a look at the case and decided not to go forward with the prosecution of TCID.”

The charges stem from allegations that TCID, McConnell and Baker had falsified and conspired to falsify certain reports, and committed fraud against the United States Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) in submitting water delivery records to the BOR.

According to the press release, a condition of the case’s dismissal stipulates, TCID, McConnell and Baker agreed not to seek reimbursement of their attorneys’ fees and expenses in defending themselves against the charges if the government’s position was found to be “vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith.” They also agreed not to file any claims against the government or its agents arising from the investigation and prosecution of the case.

David Overvold, TCID’s former project manager, retired from his position at TCID and has agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion program while continuing to assert his innocence. After the pretrial diversion is completed in 18 months, the United States also will dismiss the indictment against Overvold.

“If a person who was knowledgeable about the operation of an irrigation district with over 600 miles of canals, laterals and drains and some 70 water meter measuring devices had been involved in the investigation, this case would never have been filed in the first place,” Van Zandt said.