To the Honorable Members of the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives who represent ratepayers in the Chester Water Authority service area
RE: Chester Water Authority (“CWA”) Update No. 13
September 2, 2021
TITLE: More evidence of secret dealings between the DCED, the Chester Receiver and Aqua – Four Smoking Guns attached
DCED did another document dump on August 31, 2021 in response to CWA’s RTKL requests. Look what we found:
Smoking Gun No. 1
On August 19, 2021 CWA Vice Chair Paul Andriole wrote to the Mayor of the City pointing out to him that the Receiver was not pursuing the City’s claims for payment from the DELCORA Aqua transaction.
The DCED, the Act 47 Team, the Receiver and the City already knew about the City’s claims almost a year before Vice Chair Andriole’s letter and apparently still did nothing. See the email from the City Solicitor to the Receiver dated October 8, 2020.
Smoking Gun No. 4
Here is a collection of emails between the DCED, the Act 47 Team, the Receiver and the City and Aqua dated October 7, 2020 talking about DELCORA. Note: Aqua still doesn’t own DELCORA and DELCORA is not part of the email exchange so why are Aqua’s lawyers talking about DELCORA with the City? Do not miss the big redaction by DCED about Aqua’s offer to amend the City’s agreement with an entity that Aqua does not own — DELCORA. What is going on here? Did the City already get $$$ from Aqua? The Receiver knows but is not talking.
Smoking Gun No. 2
Here are emails dated August 13, 2020 and August 15, 2020 between Ballard Spahr (the law firm represents the City and Aqua) the DCED, Act 47 Team, the Receiver and the City, talking about the sale of the Chester Water Authority to Aqua. Hasn’t the DCED, the Act 47 Team, the Receiver and the City been saying that no decision has been made about the sale of the Chester Water Authority to Aqua? How can the same firm represent both the City and Aqua? Why did the City not pursue its claim for the assets that it transferred to DELCORA? Or did it?
Smoking Gun No. 3
With the encouragement and blessing of DCED on August 13, 2020 the City hired Ballard Spahr (Aqua’s lawyers) to sell the Chester Water Authority (ignoring Judge Angelos Order that the City alone could not sell the Chester Water Authority). Here is the fee agreement. The agreement sets an October 15, 2020 deadline for signing the agreement to sell the CWA to Aqua. Note page 2 of the fee agreement where the City waives conflicts of interests.
This agreement between the City and Ballard Spahr was negotiated and executed under the DCED’s supervision while both the DCED and Receiver were saying publicly that no decisions had been made about selling the Chester Water Authority.
The DCED and the Receivers deception has continued into 2021. In February 2021 after questioning from State Representative John Lawrence, DCED Secretary Dennis Davin stated that he did not know what was going on regarding the sale of the Chester Water Authority to Aqua while his employee, the Receiver was orchestrating the City’s hiring of Aqua’s lawyers to help with a forced sale of the CWA. Do you believe the Secretary?
Why all the lies?
Is there no penalty for appointed governmental officials who don’t tell the truth?
Will someone hold these actors accountable?
The Ratepayers deserve to have these questions answered.
Any questions or comments should be directed to Chester Water Authority. It is best to communicate with CWA via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.