Water district might get unclaimed funds

LA CRESCENTA — The Crescenta Valley Water District could get an unexpected cash infusion after officials were alerted to thousands of dollars in utility funds that have sat unclaimed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court system since the 1970s.

The unclaimed funds stem from a $12,000 deposit the agency — then called the Crescenta Valley County Water Agency — placed with the court system to secure sewer easements, officials said. The remaining unclaimed funds have earned interest throughout the decades.

Now, officials have requested that the court reconstruct old court records to determine how much money they are due.

"We are in the process of trying to get those funds back," said water district Treasurer Ron Mitchell. "It's a long process because these records are so old."

The water district was first alerted to the money by Washington-based attorney Wayne Seminoff, who is now requesting a 38% "finder's fee" upon the recovery.

In letters to the district, Seminoff has estimated the district is due between $30,000 and $50,000.

District officials counter that Seminoff's request is too high, considering they never had a written contract, and their own attorneys have pursued the matter.

The district Board of Directors delayed a decision on the potential fee Tuesday, citing the need for more information.

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