Washington state man who moved a river ordered to pay restitution

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 12, 2015 8:06 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Washington state court has ordered a man who redirected a river to pay restitution of $50 a month into an environmental fund, the state's top lawyer said on Monday.

William Cayo Sr. was found guilty in April of violating water pollution and shoreline management laws as well as conducting prohibited hydraulic activities when he changed a Tahuya River channel in February 2013, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.

Cayo used an excavator and bulldozer to fill the river channel near his home and redirect the river, Ferguson said, adding that, in all, Cayo filled and graded nearly 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) of riverbed.

Cayo has served 30 days in jail and was ordered to pay $8,000 in fines, Ferguson said in a statement on Monday.

Cayo's appeal was dismissed on Oct. 6, the statement said.

The court also ordered Cayo to pay $200,000 in restitution, but in monthly installments of $50, making it unlikely he will reach that full sum.

The court signed the restitution order on Friday, Ferguson's office said.

A National Marine Fisheries Service biologist's report found that Cayo's actions harmed multiple endangered species, including steelhead, coho and chum salmon, and harmed water quality, Ferguson said.

Restitution payments will go to a state fund that supports projects to restore or enhance the environment.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Eric Beech)