Directors of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce face a suit in Superior Court that charges them with fraud. The complaint, filed Aug. 6, charges directors with fraud and alleges that directors “had actually embezzled the majority of the Chamber’s Monument Preservation Fund.”

The complaint, filed “Pro Per” (Latin for “propria persona,” “for onself”) ostensibly by “Harmony” carver David Roy, continues, “[Chamber directors] absconded with it [monument preservation fund], misappropriated the money, and engaged in a cover-up in the face of donor inquiries as to the use of the donations held in trust by the Chamber and its Board members.”

When Roy was asked if he drafted the complaint or filed this suit he said, “Actually Ken [Carlson] is suing the Chamber.” Roy said Carlson would be representing him in court to recover $1,500 due him for labor and materials, which Roy expended preparing the “Harmony” monument for its dedication last month.

When asked if he agreed with the embezzlement charges contained in the complaint, Roy said he wasn’t specifically aware of them but said he had only received $4,000 in payments from the Chambers former President Nick Todd, not the $6,000 shown in Chamber records of checks issued to Roy.

Carlson was asked in a telephone inquiry if he drafted or filed the complaint. He said, “My name’s not on it.” When asked if he would be representing Roy in court, Carlson said he could not comment on his relationship with Roy.

The complaint acknowledges there was no formal contract to pay Roy; but it claims the Chamber hired Roy to apply a protective coating to “Harmony.” No “labor price was specifically identified.” The agreed price for a service rendered is considered an essential part of an enforceable contract. The complaint therefore seeks the $1,500 for the reasonable value of services rendered and materials supplied.

Chamber Director David Jerome denied the complaint’s allegation that he “made the specific representation to Roy that he would be paid for the … work.”

The complaint was filed in Superior Court, not small claims court, because it also seeks punitive damages against all named directors (David Jerome, Chris Titus, Lanny Hardy, Gary Taylor, Peter Buhl and Mike Lackey) and others yet to be named, because of “the fraudulent nature of their misconduct.” The complaint alleges that Chamber directors acted together to defraud Roy of funds due him and conspired to cover up funds missing from the monument account.

Chamber directors cannot now comment on advice of counsel, according to Titus. A case management conference is scheduled for Jan. 24 before Commissioner Kathleen Jacobs.


  1. it is a travesty that David Roy created a town monument, with nothing but the Chamber's empty promises, and then the scorn of the directors — it took more than a year for them to do a "dedication" ceremony and then the coverage was that the "HARMONY" monument created "disharmony." Well, that is just a bunch of foolish nonsense. David created a wonderful monument; it means a lot to people — just look at the book where many people have written their thoughts and emotions upon looking at it. WHY does the Chamber continue to create the disharmony? People come from everywhere to see our new monument – the "iconic" old La Benne monument is gone now, get over it and go forward.