THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. >> A Southern California water district voted Wednesday night to accept Tom Selleck’s offer of more than $21,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing the “Magnum, P.I.” star of taking water he wasn’t entitled to for his 60-acre ranch.
The vote, taken during a closed session, was 3-0 with two members of the Calleguas Municipal Water District’s board of directors absent.
The district, which provides water to Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and several other Ventura County cities, sued Selleck and his wife earlier this month after officials said a private investigator discovered a tanker truck bound for their ranch was regularly filling up at a Calleguas fire hydrant.
The board’s acting president, Thomas Slosson, said state and local law prohibits taking water outside a district’s boundaries.
The ranch, in nearby Westlake Village, is just outside the Calleguas area.
“Underpinning these laws is the concept of basic fairness,” Slosson said after the closed-door vote. “That is, residents and businesses within the district – the rightful users of district water — paid for the construction, maintenance and operation of the public works necessary to meet their water needs, not those of other landowners outside Calleguas’ legal boundaries.”
A representative for Selleck did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Slosson said Selleck has agreed to pay the district $21,685.55, which covers the cost of hiring the private investigator.
District officials said water was taken from the hydrant more than a dozen times over two years and that they sued after a cease-and-desist order was ignored.
The public works director for the city of Thousand Oaks recently said the water was paid for.
Calleguas’ general manager, Susan Mulligan, said Wednesday night that didn’t matter because it is illegal to take water outside the district, paid for or otherwise.