News 5 Investigates

Nov 21, 2013 1:07 AM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Residents may foot the bill for water funds allegedly stolen by ex administrator

A former water administrator is under investigation for allegedly stealing more than $1 million in funds over the course of a decade.

News 5 has confirmed the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has launched a criminal investigation into Terry Malcom, who was once associated with both the Arabian Acres Metropolitan District and the Cascade Metropolitan District.

Malcom, was fired over the summer following an accounting audit conducted by the Arabian Acres Metro District.

The water district serves residents in both Florissant and Divide.

"We are going up a creek without a paddle," Jim Nash, President of the Arabian Acres Property Owners Association said. " People are very concerned about what's going on here."

A recent audit revealed a $100,000 loan obtained to build new wells is missing. That's in addition to approximately $106,000 in general funds that are unaccounted for. Malcom, who was trusted with the money, is now accused of stealing it.

"This subdivision may very well go without water in 30 days," Nash explained.

The town has a little more than 500 people who receive water through a total of nine wells and one water tank. The subdivision also had water trucked in through a third party company which has stopped supplying water because of a $45,000 debt that has not been paid.

Nash adds missing money from a grant that was supposed to go toward building another well has stalled the project.

The Arabian Acres POA says they have not heard from Malcom since his departure.

"We really don't know what he's doing for a living at this time," Marty Cook, Vice President for the Arabian Acres POA said.

Phone numbers for Malcom are disconnected and repeated messages to his last known email address have gone unanswered. While Malcom has managed to slide off the radar, he has left a paper trail behind.

Missing funds allegedly stolen by Terry Malcom:

Cascade Metro District: $825,000
Arabian Acres Metro District: $206,000
Total unaccounted funds: $1,031,000

"Give us our damn money back," Nash said.

Despite the plea, the water district is no closer to balancing its budget, leaving neighbors like David Johnson wondering not if, but when their water supply will dry up.

"The main thing we are doing right now is taking one bath, sharing water, and using bath water to flush the toilets," Johnson said.

There's about 12,000 gallons of water in the town's tank right now. Nine wells currently pump water, but they desperately need more.

"The money is gone," Nash said. "There's nothing much we can do and are just scrambling right now to pay the bills we have."

Nash and the rest of the folks in Florissant are hoping the District Attorney's investigation will lead to Malcom's arrest and recovery of the missing money.

The DA's Office cannot comment on any active investigation.

The water board deferred all comments pertaining to Terry Malcom to their attorney, Joan Fritsche.

To view the attorney's statement, click on the link below.

AAMD Statement.pdf

The water board is scheduled to hold a public meeting at the Woodland Park Police Department Thursday evening at 6 p.m.

To view the agenda, click on the link below

Agenda Nov. 21 2013.pdf

News 5 will be at the board meeting and we will let you know what happens.

One option for making up the budget deficit in Florissant would be to raise water rates which does not sit well with the residents there. A final plan of action has not been made.



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