By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The Tucker County Sheriff’s Department once again arrived on the doorstep of Timberline to serve more official documents on new charges being brought forth. According to the Circuit Court case file, this motion for receivership is labeled as the State of West Virginia versus Timberline Four Seasons Resort Management, Fred Herz, Tracy Herz, Rose Marie Herz, Frederick Reichle, Long Run Realty, Timberline Four Seasons Realty, and Timberline Four Seasons Utility (TFSU).
According to literature within this served document, forty-three pages of information labeled as Recommended Decision had been compiled “which found that the Timberline Four Seasons Utility has been used as a slush fund by Frederick Herz on behalf of the above named businesses and individuals to illegally benefit from withdraws and encumbrances of the utility”. Also noted within the Recommended Decision was over $400,000 has been “misappropriated” from TFSU to the Resort Management and both F. and T. Herz. F. Herz has already confessed to “gross negligence”, which further justifies the request to place these businesses into receivership.
Although the 2019 taxes are not due until April 30, the current taxes owed are in excess of $18,000, which provides a lot of support to a county, especially within the education sector. According to WV Legislature code chapter 11A article 3, when taxes go unpaid; their properties can be publicly auctioned on the steps of the courthouse. The code states, “ Tax liens on each unredeemed tract or lot, or each unredeemed part thereof or undivided interest therein, will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder in an amount which shall not be less than the taxes, interest and charges which shall be due thereon to the date of sale.” Fees are also added to the taxes for the notices published, and sent to the delinquent taxpayer regarding the property being submitted to auction. Even if the parcel is purchased for at least that of the delinquent taxes, the original owner has two years to redeem their property by paying all debt accrued in taxes, interest, and fees. If they fail to do so, the buyers can then claim their purchase. This happened because of unpaid taxes by the Herz’s in 2017 and 2018 for a total of $93,704.88, which doesn’t include fees and interest.
Resulting also from unpaid taxes, Tucker County has been forced to file criminal charges against F. Herz and Timberline Four Seasons Management for failure to pay hotel and motel tax for twelve months. The recent papers served goes on to state, “If the resort continues to operate in this manner, the Utility will have no ability to operate and again place the residents under its water service under a mandatory boil water notice, not only affecting their quality of life and their right to clean water. The previous boil water notice, which lasted nearly two months, cost our realty company’s nearly an estimated $27,300 every day, of which a six percent hotel motel tax would have been collected each day for the benefit of The Tucker County Commission”. It continues, “This tax goes directly to the benefit of the Tucker County EMS, Fire Departments, and our Parks and Recreation of the county.” This plays a major role in our emergency service personnel being readily equipped to manage the safety and well being of our residents and guests within the parameters of the county.
Because of the information provided, the Commission and Sheriff feel validation to request the defendants be placed into receivership for the benefit of the entire county. The Commission and Sheriff continued to state in the literature, “That a continuation of Timberline Four Seasons Resort Management operating at the hands of The Herz and Reichle families will bankrupt, if it has not already, the Utility Company, causing irreparable harm to the County”. In addition to all the above listed Timberline entities being placed into receivership, the plaintiff’s request, “Frederick Herz, Frederick Reichle, Rose Marie Herz, and Tracy Herz, as well as their employees, agents, and assigns, be restrained, prevented, prohibited and stopped from utilizing any and all personal property now owned or thereafter acquired by Timberline Four Seasons Resort Management including but not limited to all goods, products, equipment, furniture, money, instruments, accounts, accounts receivable, documents, contractual rights, until further Order of this court.”
Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora provided a statement regarding the thought process behind drawing up these documents. “After reviewing the PSC (Public Service Commission) filings, my office determined that the interests of the Tucker County Sheriff and the Tucker County Commission are very much being detrimentally affected, as well as many of the residents of this county. We had no choice but to file this motion in hopes of protecting the money that has been taken by Timberline Four Seasons Resort and its owners and operators. This in no way will limit or postpone any ongoing investigations by our law enforcement, but I hope that it protects the citizens as these investigations continue.”
- Herz was emailed and asked if she had a statement to make on their behalf, in which she replied, “We have no comment at this time.” The Parsons Advocate will continue to monitor the progress of these cases and report to our readers as it unfolds.