Fiduciary Duty and Conflicts Of Interest
The Windber Area Authority (WAA) is the protector of the public trust and defender of water quality for its 10,000 customers.
The WAA has a FIDUCIARY DUTY to its customers to PROTECT the water quality FOR its customers.
What is a fiduciary duty?
A FIDUCIARY DUTY is the highest standard of care imposed by law. It is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party. For instance, a corporation's board members have a fiduciary duty to its shareholders, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust's beneficiaries, an attorney has a fiduciary duty to his client, and a municipal water authority manager and board members have a fiduciary duty to its customers. A fiduciary (WAA board and manager) is expected to be extremely LOYAL to the people to whom they owe the duty (their 10,000 customers).
The fiduciary relationship is highlighted by GOOD FAITH, LOYALTY and TRUST. A fiduciary (WAA) must always act in the best interests of the principal (10,000 customers).
In order to always act in the best interests of its principal, A FIDUCIARY CANNOT HAVE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. A fiduciary has a duty not to be in a situation where personal interests and fiduciary duty conflict and a duty not to be in a situation where their fiduciary duty conflicts with another fiduciary duty. A fiduciary cannot make the principal's interests a top priority if he has two principals and their interests are diametrically opposed.
What this all means is that the WAA and its employees and board members must exercise all of their professional judgment, discretion and expertise to PROTECT THE DRINKING WATER QUALITY AND SUPPLY for their customers. They must keep their 10,000 customers' best interests in mind ONLY, even if those best interests conflict with interests of others.
WAA's 10,000 customers have placed a special trust and confidence in the WAA Board and its employees to do so.