The former president of a rural water association is being sued by the current board of directors... after questioning their plan to return $350,000.00 to customers.
Debbie Duvall sees this lawsuit as retaliation but the attorneys for the board see it as a necessary step in deciding who is right.
Soon the water bills for the 350 or so members of the Southwest Atkins Water Users Association will be sent out by the city of Atkins. The systems are merging, and about $350,000.00 must be returned to members of the S.W.A.W.U.A.
Debbie and Gary Duvall have openly questioned the board's plan to return that money...and now they are being sued because of it.
In the lawsuit filed on Friday, the water board claims "The Duvalls have vociferously opposed the directors' plan, have claimed that it is illegal, have demanded that the funds be otherwise distributed and have threatened suit to block the distribution."
"They state in here that I have threatened them?," Duvall asked in a telephone interview. "I don't know when I have threatened the directors with anything."
Lawyers for the board want a judge to either green light or put the brakes on the plan to return money to the water association members.
In order to get it before a judge, somebody had to be sued.
The board picked the Duvalls.
"The wheel of justice does not move fast," says Duvall. "It's going to definitely delay their distribution and it will be smaller than if the directors had not decided to sue us because we were quoting what the law stated they should do."
So this matter will argued before Circuit Judge Ken Coker, with the Attorney General's office interested in the result.