Ranch Matters CRR

A freelance news gathering service

PROVIDING AN INTERACTIVE INVESTIGATIVE NEWS SITE DESIGNED TO INFORM & ELICIT COMMUNICATION FOCUSING ON CROOKED RIVER RANCH MATTERS & BEYOND

Part of an award winning journalism team

Follow-Up/WILD BILL’S RODEO: ALL ABOUT VETTING (BETTING)

2/20/22, 2:17 PM

Follow-Up/WILD BILL’S RODEO

ALL ABOUT VETTING (BETTING)

On February 16, Ranch Matters (RM) published a report titled: LIVID OVER LIVES about Ranch resident Kevin’s video interview regarding President Bill Burt and Ranch Manager Judy Lapora’s Rodeo Arena Project. The interview in part, included an email he sent to all of the Board of Directors that only Director Julia Randall responded to at the time. Kevin’s questions included information related to “The promoter, who nobody wanted to tell us who it was” and “possible connections between members of the Board or the management of the Ranch and the promoter.”

LINK: LIVID OVER LIES

Kevin’s interview explained that Director Randall called him “about 15 minutes” after sending off his email to all of the Directors and their conversation lasted 15-20 minutes. Kevin stated: “She was, I’ll say livid about how much she’s been lied to by her cohorts on the Board of Directors. Kevin further stated she told him: “That this rodeo promoter is actually the business partner of Judy Lapora-Ranch Manager’s husband, husband’s brother actually.”

While preparing the above story, Director Randall returned our call. As reported, we talked both On and Off the record and she confirmed On the record that she was “caught off guard” by Burt’s rodeo proposal and he (Burt) “withheld information.”

Additionally, Director Randall confirmed that the “rushed” Contract was signed immediately after Burt’s Special Meeting on February 10.

Director Randall also informed us that as far as she knows the promoter was not vetted and probably should have been.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN VETTED?

Randall’s revelation regarding the vetting matter piqued our interest and triggered our curiosity. We knew that the promoter’s name and information was initially overtly withheld-concealed, from the Association Homeowners and questioned why the Ranch Directors failed to do any DUE DILIGENCE.

We started digging and obtained a court record that confirmed the promoter had some experience preparing rodeo arenas at the Crook County Fairgrounds.

BACKGROUND

On February 21, 2006, Claude N. Rickman was accused of the offense of THEFT II. According to the DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S INFORMATION, the defendant, Claude N. Rickman, on or about the 21st day of February 2006, in Deschutes County, Oregon, did unlawfully and knowing take, appropriate, obtain and withhold property from Sears and Roebuck, Inc with intent to deprive said owner of property… The State declares its intent to continue to treat any misdemeanor charged herein as a crime.

To avoid going to trial Rickman plead guilty. He signed a “FAST TRACK OFFER AND PETITION TO ENTER PLEA OF GULITY AND WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL” on March 22, 2006, where Rickman states: “I OFFER MY PLEA OF GUILTY FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY AND WITH FULL UNDERSTANDING OF ALL OF THE MATTERS SET FORTH IN THE AND IN THIS PETITION TO ENTER PLEA OF GUILTY AND WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL. I REQUEST THE COURT ENTER MY PLEA OF GUILTY.”

As part of the Plea Deal Rickman was ordered to perform “8 hours” of Community Service along with other conditions.

The court file includes a letter dated May 8, 2006, on the Crook County Fairgrounds letterhead stating: “To Whom It May Concern. On January 27, 2006 and on March 24, 2006, Claude Rickman performed a combined 24 hours of labor, (community service), setting up the Indoor Arena at the Crook County Fairgrounds for high school rodeo practices. Should you have any questions or need further information please feel free to contact me. Sincerely, Patrick Wood, Manager.”

The above letter lists the date January 27, 2006, as part of the community service hours, BUT THE CRIME HADN’T OCCURRED UNTIL FEBRUARY 21, 2006?

According to Burt, the promoter, Rickman’s contract does not include any benefits for the Association homeowners, but does encumber the homeowners for 5 years. Should the homeowners be allowed to see this agreement that favors the promoter over the Association Membership and know something about him?

As an aside, we’ve just learned from resident Carol Orr how one Director feels about the vetting/due diligence process. In an email sent to Ms. Orr last night, Director Richard Ebers responded in part: “When I asked you what you saw as the issues and lies your response was that I should do my due diligence. Cute term, but really, WTF??”

“WTF??”

It’s a sure bet the Directors are just rolling the dice while ignoring their fiduciary responsibilities.

Ranch Matters Staff