Portland Retains Outside Counsel to Review Shipyard Brewing Co. Accounts With Portland Water District; Investigation Underway

By Carol McCracken (Post # l,094)

Portland has retained an attorney to assist it in reviewing the circumstances surrounding the nonbilling of The Shipyard Brewing Co. for sewer services between 1996 – 2011. The reason for this independent review is to provide assurance to all concerned and to the public, that the facts and circumstances have been developed as fully as can be, resulting in the most satisfactory conclusion possible as to how this situation came about and to make sure procedures are put in place to prevent any recurrence, according to a statement from Nicole Clegg, spokesperson for the city.

About a year ago, city workers discovered that Shipyard Brewing had not been properly billed for its sewer useage from 1996 – 2011 – in an amount still to be determined. Since the billing error was discovered last year, Shipyard has been paying the correct amount for the water that is treated.

Atorney Bryan Dench, of Skelton, Taintor and Abbott, has been retained to conduct this out-of-house investigation for the city. He has represented Portland in other matters in the past. The Clegg statement went on to say that…”Mr. Dench will search any additional or appropriate city documents and interview city staff as well as review records and interview personnel of the Portland Water District and, if necessary, Shipyard Brewing Co.” The review is expected to take between two and three weeks and is underway.

“We understand that this independent review prolongs any conclusion to this matter and wish to assure the public that resolving the issue is a priority. The community needs to trust and find credible the outcomes and any actions the city may take, which is why this added step is necessary,” Clegg stated in the statement.

Councilor Ed Suslovic has called for an external investigation and recommended a payment plan in a previous Post by mhn.com

For more background information and Suslovic’s suggested payment plan, please see Post # 1,084, dated February 16, 2012 herein.