4/23/21, 2:01 PM
PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY ?
“…The term typically implies forethought, such as intentionally setting up the conditions for the plausible avoidance of responsibility for one’s future actions, or knowledge…”
At last Monday’s (4/19/21), Crooked River Ranch (CRR) Regular Board of Directors Meeting, Ranch VP Bill Burt read a prepared statement regarding stories and comments concerning complaints made to the Oregon Department of Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) against Ranch Matters News Service and John Stevens’ private investigators license.
Burt stated the complaints in question were made as “individuals, and in no way were Ranch Management or the Homeowners Board a party to the complaints.”
He then repeated, “The individuals who made the complaints, were PRESENT or PAST DIRECTORS, but were not representing the BOD or Ranch Management. The DIRECTORS were acting solely as individuals.”
VP Burt additionally addressed the “HIT LIST” which has been the subject of some of Ranch Matters stories. Burt said, “The subject HIT LIST, supposedly, provided, to the DPSST, was not compiled by Ranch Management or the Board of Directors.
The question of who provided the LIST, would have to be answered to other sources, such as Ranch Matters, the DIRECTORS who filed the complaints or DPSST.”
“The DIRECTORS Who Filed the Complaints”?
Luckily, Burt clarifies where one needs to go for answers-The DIRECTORS.
Next, Burt talked about “Comments on social media, including Ranch Matters claim that DPSST INVESTIGATOR referred to the complaints as being from the Association.” He asked, “Why the investigator would say this is unclear, since the Boards were not party to the complaints.”
However, the DPSST INVESTIGATOR confirmed in writing: “AS YOU MAY KNOW, THIS INVESTIGATION IS RELATED TO YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH CROOKED RIVER RANCH ASSOCIATION.”
The DPSST INVESTIGATOR confirmed the above statement because all of the complaints emanated from the Ranch Board and/or employees of CRR.
Last August, Portland attorney Duane Bosworth, from the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine wrote the DPSST Investigator on behalf of the national Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP). Bosworth stated, “RCFP is alarmed about the repeated and exceptional harassment and interference directed at reporter John Stevens who, with fellow journalist Dave Stangland, publishes Ranch Matters, an interactive news outlet…”
Bosworth stated, “One such deeply harassing and interfering action resulted in an outrageous attempt by CRR Leadership to have Mr. Stevens arrested for trespass on April 20, 2020. The occasion was only one in a LONG LIST of harassing actions taken by agents at CRR.”
On October 13, 2020, Bosworth wrote Ranch President Carl Harbour explaining how he had been engaged by RCFP to represent John Stevens, Dave Stangland and Ranch Matters. Bosworth starts right off, “RCFP is deeply concerned about the Obstruction and Harassment of my clients’ journalism. From all known FACTS the Board has fostered, endorsed, or perhaps in the rare case, known but turned a blind eye to wrongful actions against my clients.”
“Clear testimony would also show that the Board put my clients on what witnesses have identified as a hit list.”
Bosworth Said, “Moreover, the Board has USED GOVERNMENT entities, including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the DPSST, as part of a PATTERN to attempt to silence Ranch Matters.” Bosworth addressed the “outrageous matter involving complaints made to DPSST against John Stevens.
The DPSST has expressly stated that the investigation was prompted by CRR…”
Although VP Burt failed to identify by name, the DIRECTORS involved, Ranch Matters recently obtained an email authored by Ranch Manager Judy Lapora,
where she stated:
“Just to be clear, Mark Schneider acted as an individual in filing the complaint. The Board made it clear to him that neither the BOD nor Ranch Management would be in anyway involved with this.”
*Mark Schneider was a Ranch Director at the time the complaints were submitted to DPSST and currently he is the CC&R Committee Chairperson.
As the CC&R Committee Chairperson, does Schneider still have access to homeowners personal information from the CRR Administration?