Pflueger bills state $240K for Kauai dam water
HONOLULU — A retired car dealer who pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment in a deadly Kauai dam breach has billed the state $240,000.
James Pflueger demanded the state pay for water it has been selling from his dam to local farmers for the past 20 years, KITV reported Monday.
Seven people were swept to their deaths in 2006 when 400 million gallons of mud, rocks and water raged down the valley because the Ka Loko dam broke on Pflueger’s property.
The 87-year-old landowner pleaded no contest last month in a deal with prosecutors to drop seven manslaughter counts.
His attorney, Bill McCorriston, said the state of Hawaii continues to utilize the water and Kilauea Irrigation Co. continues to supply the water.
In a March 2013 letter, Pflueger told the Department of Land and Natural Resources: “I have received nothing, but am accused of everything. You owe me more than I owe you.”
He then sent a bill for $1,000 a month for the past 20 years.
The department said Monday Pflueger has no authority under the law to make these monetary claims and a response wasn’t necessary or warranted.
Pflueger and his attorneys said they have yet to receive a direct response from the state and would prefer to reach a deal, but are considering action in the near future.