The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors has voted to terminate its contract with attorney Lawrence Kogan.
Kogan was the source of controversy in Klamath County after he gained employment with Klamath Irrigation District in February.
The KID board of directors terminated Kogan’s employment with the district earlier this month, in a 2-1 vote at the district’s monthly board meeting.
According to an April 27 letter of engagement signed by Siskiyou County Administrative Officer Terry Barber, Kogan was primarily hired to assist Siskiyou County in preventing the implementation of the recently amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA).
The KHSA is a dam removal pact supported by the Department of Interior, Oregon and California, and the dams’ owner, PacifiCorp. The KHSA outlines provisions for removing four of five dams that control water along the 263-mile-long Klamath River. Three of the dams — Copco 1, Copco 2 and Iron Gate Dam — are located in Siskiyou County.
The agreement also turns over the dam removal feasibility analysis to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The letter states that Kogan Law Group of New York is qualified to help the county combat dam removal efforts because Kogan has engaged in numerous Klamath Basin stakeholder meetings and discussions since September 2015, “most recently in January and February 2016, with the intent of developing a bi-state coalition to address such matters.”
According to Siskiyou County Resource Policy Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen, the county’s board of supervisors voted to terminate Kogan’s contract without cause July 5.
Supervisor Ed Valenzuela said he did not support hiring Kogan.
“I voted not to go down that path for financial reasons,” Valenzuela said.
Valenzuela said dam removal-related issues are moving at a slow crawl. He said the county might be off if it “takes a breather” and waits to see what happens.
Supervisor Grace Bennett said the board hired Kogan after he spoke several times at a local grange.
Bennett said the county has had a long-term arrangement with the Sacramento-based Nossaman law firm. She said the Siskiyou board opted to terminate Kogan’s contract and to just consult with Nossaman.
“We talked about it, and decided we would continue with that firm,” Bennett said.
According to the letter, Kogan billed the county $325 per hour.
On July 19, Kogan Law Group submitted a $19,825 invoice to Siskiyou County for services billed between May 2 and July 4. Much of the time is billed for researching FERC jurisdiction and preparing a list of actions that could be filed against the Environmental Protection Agency, PacifiCorp and FERC, records said.