The state has filed a lawsuit against the owner of Big Squaw Mountain ski resort in Greenville, claiming that the owner, Moosehead Mountain Resort Inc., illegally harvested timber on Moose Mountain and failed to maintain the ski area as required under terms of the sale two decades ago.

The complaint was filed July 28 in Kennebec County Superior Court by the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

After having run the ski area since 1974, the state sold it and 1,216 acres in 1986 at “below market price,” the complaints says, “with the explicit understanding that the purchaser would invest in and improve the ski area and resort, and maintain and operate it as an attractive and safe resort for the benefit of the people of Maine and the Greenville community.”

After a series of owners, James Confalone of Florida, who owns Moosehead Mountain Resort Inc., purchased the mountain and ski area in 1995 for the below-market price of $550,000, the complaint says. All the terms of the 1986 Trustee’s Deed remained, requiring that the sale “was conditioned upon continued public use as a ski area.”

But the ski area and resort at Moose Mountain “fell into disrepair over time in ways that violated the public purpose condition contained in the 1995 Trustee’s Deed,” the complaint says.

In 2001, the hotel and base lodge closed and, according to the complaint, never fully reopened. In 2004, the ski lift serving the upper portion of Moose Mountain failed and injured four people, and it has not reopened.

Confalone completely closed the ski area in 2010 for two full seasons, the complaint says.

It was reopened in 2013 by the nonprofit Friends of Squaw Mountain, but only the lower portion of the ski area was in operation.

The friends group is not listed in the complaint. But the group told the Portland Press Herald in 2013 that it leased the ski area from Confalone.

Confalone’s attorney, Charles Cox of Newport, did not return calls Friday. Timothy Feeley, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, would not comment on the lawsuit.

The 3,150-foot Big Moose Mountain in Big Moose Township is a few miles from Greenville. In 2011, the state changed the name of the mountain because it was deemed offensive to Native Americans, but Confalone decided to retain the old name – Squaw Mountain – for the ski resort.