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City issues statement responding to Department of Justice attempt to dismiss water theft charges

The City of Yuma issued the following statement today in response to a motion to dismiss charges in the Diamond Brooks water theft case.

The City of Yuma disagrees with the content of the U.S. Attorney’s motion to dismiss charges against Philip K. Clark and will object. The City believes the overwhelming evidence demonstrates theft of City water.

The City’s intent is to recover the lost funds rightly due the City and its citizens. There was a simple fix to remedy this but unfortunately the federal prosecutor did not choose to proceed that way. There is misleading information in the motion, but this will be handled in court by attorneys with the federal judge.

This case started as a water theft case. As the City and the Yuma Police Department required advanced forensic resources, the FBI became involved in the investigation. During the FBI’s assistance with the case, the potential existence of additional federal criminal violations were discovered, which eventually led to the IRS becoming the lead investigative federal agency. The federal prosecutor made a plea deal to drop the criminal charges in the water theft case in order to achieve a guilty plea on the IRS tax charges and provide for restitution to the federal government. The prosecutors then declined prosecuting the theft of City water charges and have now filed a motion to dismiss.

The federal prosecutor indicated he will not prosecute because they cannot account for 7/1000 or 0.007 percent of the missing water. That ignores the other 993/1000 or 99.993 percent of the water taken.

While this is disheartening it came as a surprise to the City that they are continuing on this path without remedy to the citizens of Yuma

The City’s civil suit against Clark is still pending.


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