Irrigators gave the Klamath Irrigation District board of directors a round of applause after the board voted 2-1 to terminate attorney Lawrence Kogan’s employment with the district.
The vote was made Thursday at KID’s monthly board meeting.
Board members Dave Cacka and Greg Carleton voted in favor of terminating Kogan’s employment with the district. Board member Ken Smith voted against. Board member Grant Knoll abstained from the vote, and board chair Brent Cheyne did not vote.
Cheyne said a successful vote required three of the board members to vote one way or another.
According to KID general counsel Nathan Rietmann, the motion passed.
Source of controversy
Kogan has been the source of much controversy in the district since his employment contract was signed in February. Several Klamath Project irrigators have questioned his role with the district, and two KID board members filed an ethics complaint against Kogan, alleging the attorney acted “far beyond the scope” of his contract.
Another source of contention is the $58,000 invoice Kogan submitted in June for six weeks of work in March and April.
Earlier this month, someone vandalized two of the district’s signs, covering “Klamath” with a fabric placard that read “Kogan,” so the signs said “Kogan Irrigation District” instead of Klamath Irrigation District.
Kogan could not be reached for comment.
Before Thursday’s vote, Cheyne said KID’s temporary district manager, Hollie Cannon, sent a letter to the board on June 26, stating that Cannon would consider staying on as KID’s permanent district manager if four conditions were met.
“One of those was if Mr. Kogan no longer has any relationship with KID,” Cheyne said.
“Hollie has drawn a line on Mr. Kogan because the two seem to have different styles entirely, which I understand,” Cheyne said. “Hollie likes to be a team builder and a peacemaker, and he feels Mr. Kogan’s style as an opposite creates problems for him doing his job.”
Cacka called Kogan “divisive” and said he believes Kogan has created problems that didn’t previously exist.
“My thought on that is we hired Mr. Kogan to do the C flume. The C flume is done. It’s time to move on,” Cheyne said.
Cacka said he doesn’t believe Kogan’s law services are giving the district the best bang for its buck.
“The costs we’ve incurred with him up to this stage, that money could be used for a lot of infrastructure, repair and betterment. I just feel it’s time to let him go,” Cacka said.