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Former water commissioner Holloway takes case to federal court

Former Clackamas River Water Commissioner Patricia Holloway, who was recalled by voters in March, is suing the commission and former commissioners in federal court.

Holloway's federal lawsuit, filed Oct. 7, names as defendants CRW Attorney Dean Phillips, General Manager Lee Moore and four former CRW commissioners.

No court date has been set for the lawsuit. The Clackamas River Water agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Through her attorney James D. Huffman of Scappoose, Holloway is asking for $4 million in damages “for malicious prosecution of a civil proceeding arising from the complaint for ethics violations with the Oregon Ethics Commission.”

According to her lawsuit, Holloway claims that during a Feb. 16, 2011, CRW special meeting former commissioners voted to file the ethics commission complaint against her while discussing CRW’s criminal complaint against her, prepared by Phillips, with documents provided by Moore.

On Oct. 7, 2011, the state ethics commission dismissed the complaint.

“The defendants acted with a specific intent to cause severe and extreme emotional distress,” according to the lawsuit, which also referenced Holloway’s demands for a forensic audit into alleged CRW funding misappropriation.

Three new CRW commissioners were elected in May with the intention of bringing stability to the board and ending the agency’s infighting. They first took office after a Clackamas County circuit judge last year ruled against a request by Huffman that would have blocked the county commission from appointing new board members.