I-Team: Clean Water Coalition Voted Out of Existence - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Clean Water Coalition Voted Out of Existence

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LAS VEGAS -- How would you like to get paid more than $200,000 to lead a government agency that had two employees and nothing to do?

That's the case of the Clean Water Coalition, which finally came to a long-awaited end Thursday.

The I-Team has been tracking the use of taxpayer dollars for years at the Clean Water Coalition – and what taxpayers got for their money.

Taxpayers got some research on the fathead minnow - and an article in Nevada Lawyer magazine outlining how the existence of this defunct agency may set some legal precedent.

With a vote by the county commission, the coalition was voted out of existence.

Eleven years, $62 million, and no wastewater pipeline to show for it, the coalition is over.

When the money and push for a wastewater pipeline died with the recession, director and former Clark County Commissioner Chip Maxfield continued to collect a paycheck.

In June 2011 Maxfield said that he earns the $568 he is paid for each work day.

"(I) follow the direction of the board and work towards the termination of this agency," he said at the time.

Reporter: That is a lot of money, though.

Maxfield: (after a pause, repeats) "Work to the direction of the board (pause) towards the termination of the agency."

The majority of the coalition's budget is being reimbursed to water ratepayers.

But the director's salary, a $191,000 severance, consulting fees, legal costs and money for a public relations firm is all gone.

"It's unfortunate," said Steve Ross, a coalition board member. "Maybe those dollars, pardon the pun, went down the river."

When state lawmakers tried taking the coalition's millions of dollars to balance Nevada's budget, the state supreme court rejected the money grab.

For all the money spent, the coalition's legacy, according to its attorney, is the legal precedent preventing the state from raiding local money.

To mark this taxpayer funded occasion, a well-written article in a local law journal.

"Nevada Lawyer magazine attached to the minutes so that it will be preserved for posterity," coalition attorney Robert Marshall said.

The I-Team approached Maxfield for a final interview as director of the Clean Water Coalition.

He said he had some papers to sign before he talked to 8 News NOW. He walked out of the room and never came back.

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