Since its 1983 founding, the Utility Consumers’ Action Network has successfully sued and advocated on behalf of San Diegans who pay water, sewer, phone and electricity bills. It has repeatedly fought San Diego Gas & Electric over its rates and successfully sued the city over its sewer rates.
Now the organization and its leader, Michael Shames, find their own finances under the type of scrutiny they’ve more often given than received.
UCAN took the drastic step of beginning the process to unwind its very existence this week, a move that would leave San Diego without one of its most influential watchdogs. UCAN filed its intent to dissolve in San Diego Superior Court, saying in papers that it faced an “imminent threat to its ability to carry on,” due in part to legal threats by members of its own staff. Still, it insisted the organization would remain viable, despite the major crisis it clearly faces.