Oroville Files Lawsuit against State of California, ‘Complacent’ DWR over Spillway Crisis

OROVILLE -- The City of Oroville announced at a press conference Wednesday that it has filed a lawsuit against the State of California, specifically the Department of Water Resources.

The suit alleges financial damages that occurred during and after the evacuation of around 180,000 people in multiple counties in last February when it was feared the emergency spillway at the Oroville dam could fail.

Attorney Carolyn Frank says the largest cost during the emergency was overtime pay for firefighters and police.

Frank did not specify the amount of compensation the city is asking for from the state.

The emergency spillway was used after significant damage was found in the dam's main spillway.

The complaint also alleges the Department of Water Resources failed to manage and maintain the dam with experts who reviewed DWR documents say the department was "complacent."

At Wednesday's press conference attorney Joe Cotchett referred to the DWR and its water partners as the "Water Mafia."

FOX40 reached out to the Department of water resources who told us they do not issue comments on ongoing litigation.

A copy of the complaint can be seen here.