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Timberline court hearing is continued

PARSONS — A judge was prepared to hear arguments about entities connected to Timberline Four Seasons Resort possibly going into a receivership on Thursday, but the owners of the company did not have an attorney present and the hearing was continued.

The hearing was scheduled to address the status of Timberline Four Seasons Resort Management, Long Run Realty, Timberline Four Seasons Realty and Herz, Herz & Reichle, Inc.

“This is definitely not something that the state is used to filing,” Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora III said during the hearing. “In this situation it’s necessary. We do believe that Timberline should be placed into receivership, due to the failures of Timberline to manage their resort properly, to pay state issued taxes…. To ensure that the citizens of Tucker County are being protected. We have a few different witnesses that we are going to bring forward to put some testimony for us on that end.”

According to LaMora, Herz, Herz, & Reichle, Inc. owns the property that Timberline Four Seasons Management Company operates as the resort. The companies are owned by Tracy and Fred Herz, who appeared for the hearing on Thursday but had no legal counsel with them.

“We were not able to obtain an attorney,” Fred Herz stated in court Thursday. “We tried over the last several weeks to obtain counsel we were not able to find an attorney. We tried several different firms. No one would take our case and one of the problems was the specialization involved in receivership specialty.”

Due to the fact that the case involves incorporated entities and corporations that have to be represented by counsel when appearing in circuit court, which the Herzs did not have, Circuit Judge James W. Courrier Jr. said the next available date for the hearing would be May 8.

“Obviously we have heard from Mr. Herz that they sought counsel, they went to great lengths to find counsel. If they haven’t found counsel at this point I don’t see how they could find counsel afterward,” LaMora said. “Certainly this is a special area of law, something that I have had to put a lot of effort into to familiarize myself with. Certainly I think any experienced civil attorney could make themselves aware of the implications.”

“We have since the receivership of the utility hearing for that, that which Fred could not be present because he was in Tygart Regional Jail for county motel taxes, we have diligently, would be the word I use, we have … on a committed daily basis called every single attorney that has been recommended to us, that we could find by Googling or conversations with other attorneys. We have been declined,” Tracy Herz said during the hearing.

Herz asked for a continuance of 60 days. Courrier set the date for 2:30 p.m. May 28.

The state Department of Environmental Protection Agency had issued a notice of violation at Timberline Four Seasons Resort after it received a solid waste complaint. The EPA called for the property owned by the Herzs to be cleaned up by Thursday, but the work still has not been completed, officials.

Timberline Four Seasons Utilities, also owned by Fred and Tracy Herz, was placed into receivership following an order in March in circuit court in Tucker County.

Judge Lynn Nelson’s order appointed Canaan Valley Public Service District as the receiver, with the control and responsibility of Timberline Four Seasons Utilities water and sewer utility operations to remain with Canaan Valley Public Service District until further order of the court.

The state Public Service Commission presented evidence against Timberline Four Seasons Utilities in an all-day hearing Dec. 13 at Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center.

Just a day before the December hearing, Fred Herz was arrested after allegedly failing to pay taxes and was charged with 12 misdemeanor counts of failure to pay hotel/motel taxes.

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