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I attended the regularly scheduled meeting of the BOCC today to try and stop our commissioners from giving away $30,000 to a private citizen who filed a lawsuit against the county that included the following allegation: “On April 10, 2019 Plaintiff made a request for public records from Defendant for which the Defendant intentionally and in bad faith, denied said records in an effort to conceal from Plaintiff records of significant importance relating to a proposed gravel mine application on Hood Canal.”
During a closed door session County Commissioners decided not to mount a defense, choosing instead, to pay-off settle the claim. No to put too fine a point on it, but our commissioners made a decision to give $30,000 of taxpayer money to a private citizen and didn’t even bother to tell the public until the proposed settlement appeared on the agenda, worded in its entirety as follows:
“Approval of the Settlement Agreement/ Release of All Claims in the Brad Carey v. Mason County lawsuit filed in Thurston County, Cause # 20- 2- 00081- 34.”
I was able to obtain a copy of the formal complaint, and some of the alleged conduct attributed to one of the commissioners is very worrisome. So much so that before the meeting I asked Commissioner Shutty if he would pull the item from the agenda to allow for an off-the record- discussion, and he agreed to do so. Unfortunately, he did not, and another $30,000 of your hard earned money went out the window without so much as a whisper of accountability.
If you want to know why our county struggles to meet its financial obligations while all around us communities flourish, look no further than this type of fast and loose decision coming from the BOCC.
More importantly, with leadership like this, it’s only a matter of time before someone backs the county into a multi-million dollar lawsuit and sinks any hope of recovery.
Tom Davis, Shelton