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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Altadena : Water Firm Wins in Court

June 20, 1993

The Lincoln Avenue Water Co. voted last week to hold its board election in August after a Superior Court Judge lifted a court order preventing an election.

"We're looking forward to getting out of the legal arena and back into the water supply business," water board member Bob Gomperz said of the company's victory against Concerned Shareholders of Lincoln Avenue Water. The company supplies water to Altadena residents.

Gomperz said the board voted to hold the election Aug 3. The election had been scheduled for May 3 before a judge issued a stay.

The shareholders group filed suit against the company in March, alleging that company bylaws made it almost impossible to unseat incumbents on the five-member board. The group campaigned for a seat last year and lost by a wide margin.

In an order released June 11, Judge Thomas Stoever agreed with water company lawyers who contended that Concerned Shareholders of Lincoln Avenue Water Co. lacked the legal standing to sue. He did not consider the issue of the bylaws.

Water company lawyers said the shareholder group did not provide proof of how many shareholders it represented. Such proof was needed for a class-action lawsuit.

Stoever also lifted the stay on this year's election. But he ruled that last year's election was invalid because of violations of the bylaws.

The decision on last year's election has no consequences because the director who was elected then has resigned.

Most Altadena residents must buy stock in the company to receive water. The amount of stock depends on lot size.

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