LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Tom Selleck has tentatively settled a Southern California court complaint that accused him of illegally tapping the public hydrant of a nearby water district to supply his ranch in the midst of a crippling drought, a district official said on Thursday.
Attorneys for Selleck and the Calleguas Municipal Water District in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, reached an accord that must now go to the agency’s board for approval at a meeting set for next Wednesday, said Eric Bergh, the agency’s resources manager.
Bergh confirmed the deal was struck on Thursday, but said terms were confidential until it was finalized.
“Staff believes the tentative settlement is a positive step towards an ultimate resolution of this matter,” Bergh said in an email message to Reuters.
Neither Selleck nor representatives for the performer were immediately available for comment. The 70-year-old actor first gained fame playing a private detective in Hawaii on the 1980s television series “Magnum, P.I.”
He now stars on the CBS police drama “Blue Bloods.”
The Calleguas district filed a complaint on Monday in Ventura County Superior Court accusing the entertainer of illegally exporting the district’s water out of its service area.
The complaint said the water district spent nearly $22,000 to hire a private investigator and discovered that several times from 2013 into 2015 a water-tender truck filled its tanks from a public hydrant in the community of Thousand Oaks and delivered that water to Selleck’s nearby ranch.
The complaint comes as California copes with a devastating four-year drought that has damaged the state’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry and led to mandatory water cutbacks on cities and towns averaging 25 percent of their usual supplies.
In November 2013, the water district sent a cease-and-desist order to Selleck, warning it would take legal action against the actor unless the alleged illegal water deliveries to his property were halted.
Reporting by Steve Gorman; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Paul Tait and Christopher Cushing