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Judge to Fairfax Water: If You’ve Had This Grievance So Long, Why Haven’t You Brought It Forward Before Now?

Monday, Sept. 14 (5 p.m. EDT) – Judge Nye issued a ruling on a preliminary injuction in favor of the City of Falls Church today, and inclined to rule for F.C. in a second case that drew howls from the Fairfax Water Authority’s counsel, who intoned, “Please don’t do this to me!”

The judge’s ruling disallowed communications and deposition statements from members of the Falls Church City Council, and although he delayed a final ruling, he said he thought the F.C. counsel “made the better case” in arguing for why an in-depth history of F.C.’s annual rates of return on its water system should not be allowed as evidence. Since the question in the case goes to the constitutionality of F.C.’s taking a return on investment, then the amounts of such returns over time are irrelevant, F.C. argued. Both sides delivered their opening statements in the case Monday afternoon, with attorney Sandy Thomas representing the City of Falls Church saying the case is “political” in nature, and involves Fairfax’s intention to “get Falls Church out of the water business.”

He stressed that the current arrangement has been in place over 50 years without dispute, and that, if anything, Fairfax’s argument is with the State Legislature, for sanctioning Falls Church’s charter that permits a return on investment, and not with Falls Church. The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, with two expert witnesses, Chris Woodcock for Fairfax Water and Glenn Watkins for F.C.

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