Former employee blasts apartment owner who didn’t pay water bills

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by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

azfamily.com

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 6:18 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 10:40 AM

PHOENIX -- Residents were left high and dry last week after the owner of two Valley apartment complexes fell way behind on water bills.  For now, the water is back on, but a former manager for SK Investments tells 3TV that renters face lots of other problems from the company.

"It's not fair.  It's not fair at all," said Denny Humphrey, a former area manager for SK Investments. "You've got people who pay a lot of money in rent that I'm going to tell you are being taken advantage of."

Humphrey told 3TV he started with SK Investments back in 2011, but resigned last spring when the company seemed to be heading in a direction with which he did not agree.

"I saw money being spent on things that didn't make sense," he said. "I saw certain employees getting kickbacks, buying tires for her car, replacing things like that."

SK Investments, which based in San Diego, owns several properties throughout Phoenix, including the Mirabella Apartments where the city turned off the water last week because SK was more than six months and $50,000 behind on the water bill.  The company also owns the Del Sol Apartments, which was threatened with a water shutdown for being two months behind with the City of Glendale.

SK has a history of not paying. Just this summer a pest control company successfully sued SK Investments for $8,575 in unpaid work.

“It's not right.  It's not right at all to not provide basic utility services to your residents,” said Humphrey before adding mockingly, “I'll take your money but I'm not going to pay the water bill.”

Meanwhile, SK Investments' owner, Scott Clifton, lives in a $6.8 million historic mansion at Point Loma in San Diego.

"He would have [an employee] go to the bank and order, the last time I remember, 70 grand in $20 bills -- in cash, order that money -- and he would take that money and hide it in his house," Humphrey said.

3TV tried reaching out to Clifton on a personal number provided by Humphrey, as well as phone numbers Clifton listed for his properties registered with the Maricopa County Assessor and other sources.  However, Clifton has failed to answer or return several calls and emails requesting comment.

Right now, the water is back on at Mirabella and will not be turned off at the Del Sol in Glendale.  Both Phoenix and Glendale city officials confirm that SK Investments made minimum payments to get things back up and running.

Last week, an SK representative told 3TV the company would do something to make it right for residents.
 

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