November 30, 2011
Former Monterey County Water Resources Agency board member Steve Collins pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 39 criminal charges, including two felony conflict-of-interest charges related to his role in the Regional Desalination Project.
Collins' next court date is Dec. 7, when he is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing setting with his attorneys, Michael Lawrence and Juliet Peck.
Lawrence says he's confident evidence will emerge that proves county officials assured Collins that his simultaneous work with MCWRA and RMC Water and Environment was not a conflict of interest—as Collins alleged in a claim he filed with the county Sept. 19.
"Confidentiality clauses of governmental immunity will not withstand a criminal trial," Lawrence says.