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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Utility Manager Arrested in Water Theft

May 13, 1999|MASSIE RITSCH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

OJAI — The general manager of an Ojai Valley water district was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing water for his home and a horse boarding business, authorities said.

Ronald Vance Singleton, 60, was booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of theft of utility services, a felony. Singleton is general manager of the Meiners Oaks County Water District.

Singleton leased property on the 300 block of South La Luna Avenue in Ojai, where he lived and operated Rancho Viejo Stables. Two water meters on the property had not measured usage for more than two years, said Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Frawley. Documents seized from the water district's office showed that the property had not been properly billed during that time, he added.

Frawley would not reveal the value or amount of water that Singleton allegedly stole. Other people living on the property may have also received free or discounted water service, he said.

"The facts do indicate that because of his actions, other people were allowed to get water for less than they should have," Frawley said. However, he added, "No one else is suspected of wrongdoing in this matter."

Singleton was released from jail Wednesday afternoon on $5,000 bond, pending his arraignment in Ventura County Superior Court on May 26.

Singleton could not be reached for comment.

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