For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Contact: Naseem Farooqi

May 7, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Public Affairs Manager




Rialto, CA – Consistent with a lengthy list of reforms and changes, today West Valley Water District (WVWD) announced that it settled a years-long lawsuit with former General Manager Matthew Litchfield. Following a closed session vote, WVWD Board President released the following statement:


“Continuing this lawsuit is a waste of the Water District’s time, energy and resources. The money spent on this case could and should be spent on ratepayers not on egregious attorneys fees. We’re here to run a water district not a law office.”


The settlement approved by the board of directors is one of many fiscal decisions to help reform the Water District. Seeking to hold the special district more accountable to ratepayers, the WVWD Board of Directors decided to go to mediation to stem the tide of litigation costs. During the mediation, Mr. Litchfield offered to settle his entire case including attorneys’ fees for $99,999.99. It was anticipated that this ligation would cost ratepayers $250,000 to take this case to trial during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, WVWD determined it was in the best interest of ratepayers to settle the lawsuit for less half of what would have been spent in attorney fees.


On November 29, 2017, General Manager Matthew Litchfield sent a 20-page letter threatening a lawsuit. The basis of Mr. Litchfield’s lawsuit was a commonly-used legal theory regarding employment termination in the State of California. Through this settlement, WVWD admits no fault.




The West Valley Water District has proudly served the communities of Bloomington, Colton, Fontana, Rialto, San Bernardino, and Jurupa Valley since 1952. Through name changes and consolidation, the mission has always remained the same: to provide customers with safe, high quality, and reliable water service at a reasonable rate and in a sustainable manner. The Water District provides water for 83,000 customers and is overseen by a five-member, publicly-elected board of directors.