FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Members of the group citizens for clean water announced online that southern California law firms are helping in their long battle with the city over discolored water.
The post on the Next Door App said a "dynamic team of attorneys has agreed to represent the citizens of Fresno who have discolored or lead in their water."
One of the affected residents, Barbara Frederickson told Action News going to court may be the only way to fight city hall.
"I think there's a possibility we will have to take legal action because they've actually taken the first step by hiring a lawyer and specialists," she said.
In her news conference, Mayor Ashley Swearengin said the city was retaining lawyers who had sued others over rusty pipes, so the city could be prepared.
One of the attorneys helping residents is Raymond P. Boucher.
He told Action News he met with several Fresno residents over the weekend and said, "Obviously with this significant degree of distrust there is a chance litigation could follow. In this case, there is so much information lost and hidden that hasn't been turned over."
At last week's news conference Mayor Swearengin also blamed the former manager of the city's water treatment plant, Robert Moorhead for covering up complaints about the water quality.
"He worked from home and was using a personal server and personal cell phone to correspond with residents in violation of city policy," the mayor said.
Moorhead left the city in 2011 and he called the Mayor's claim ridiculous.
"I thought that was almost hilarious, I couldn't believe it," he said. "It made it seem like I was some sort of foreign hacker."
"The word server was used and I don't have a server, most of the time computers and laptops aren't called servers."
Moorhead said he did have email complaints forwarded to his personal computer but said any emails that were forwarded to him, first came to his boss in the water division.
Moorhead said he believes the city is involved in a cover-up - something residents like Frederickson have been feeling for a long time.
"The city is withholding information," she said. "The city is saying, "Yeah, we goofed up but it's not our fault your pipes are disintegrating.'"