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12/19/18, 2:57 PM

Crooked River Ranch SPECIAL ROAD DISTRICT Public Records Lawsuit-UPDATE

John Stevens vs. Crooked River Ranch Special Road District, and John Williams, Commissioner, Defendant

Case No: 18 CV 03272

What’s been doctored?

On November 16, 2018, received a letter signed by, Sr. Claims Consultant, Angela Smith from the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) dated November 16, 2018 and addressed to John Stevens and the Crooked River Ranch Special District sent via email to jw8831@msn.com.

(John Williams)

The letter was mis-addressed, apparently mis-dated and confirmed that SRD Commissioner John Williams indeed had some insurance which seemingly conflicted with statements made at the Settlement Conference.

TIMELINE-Significant Events:

October 16, 2018, Settlement Conference held in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Daina Vitolins presided. Plaintiff John Stevens represented by Portland attorney Robert Birk along with Defendant/SRD Commissioner John Williams and SRD Commissioner Mike Schlabach, represented by Madras attorney Timothy Gassner were in attendance.

A Settlement was reached and part of the Agreement focused on attorney fees. Judge Vitolins indicated she was told “they have no money and no insurance coverage.” We were also told the insurance carrier submitted a letter prior to the Settlement Conference substantiating the above.

November 12, Plaintiff’s attorney Robert Birk, wrote Defendant’s attorney ,Tim Gassner requesting a copy of the “no coverage” letter concerning this Public Records dispute.

November 16, Gassner emailed Birk with an attached copy of the SDAO letter, which was also dated November, 16. Attorney Birk immediately wrote Gassner seeking clarification. Birk’s letter to Gassner stated in part: “That SDAO letter seems a bit odd, as I was under the impression from Judge Vitolins’ comments during meetings at the Settlement Conference that a letter of that sort had already been generated and received by the date of the Conference. I bring that up because the SDAO letter is dated November 16, today, instead of October 16, the day of the Conference. I also would have expected Angela Smith to have addressed the letter to Mr. Williams or you or both, instead, of to ‘John Stevens’.”

November 18, Gassner responded, “The letter was generated on 10/1/18. It was send to me as a Microsoft Word document so when I opened it to send you a copy it automatically dated it for Friday. I don’t have an explanation for the recipient as ‘John Stevens’.”

November 26, spoke with Sr. Claims Consultant, Angela Smith from the SDAO regarding the forwarded letter from Gassner.

Ms. Smith acknowledged she was familiar with the case and thought it “weird” the letter was dated November 16, 2018. She added, “I have no idea, why that would have been sent” and asked if the letter had her signature on it, as well as requested a copy.

Ms. Smith wanted to know how I received the letter and said, “Im just so confused about why that letter would have come to you.” She stressed, “It was not generated by me-it was not generated by me.”

Our conversation ended by Ms. Smith stating, “So please forward it to me and I can look into this and talk to Tim (Gassner).”

December 06, Ms. Smith emailed requesting a telephone conference for December 07 at 10:00 AM.

December 07, spoke for the second time with Ms. Smith about the letter. She stated, “It’s upsetting to me, so I’ll have to check with him (Gassner).”

Our conversation included further background based on the Public Records Lawsuit and Ms. Smith indicated she was aware of the history behind the Records Dispute and the Emergency Road.

Further, Ms. Smith voiced her opinion regarding the handling of this matter by stating in part,

“That’s when I call Bull Shit, I have to hold Tim (Gassner) accountable for that.”

Ms. Smith went on to say, “I Don’t Know Who, Who Doctored the Letter, but it didn’t originate from me on that date.”

Ms. Smith ended our conversation by saying she would be in touch and repeated “I did send some letter, but this letter has been changed.”

As of this publication, a couple of messages have been left for Ms. Smith-No Response.

*Still to come, more reports regarding Crooked River Ranch Special Road District Lawsuit & Settlement.

Ranch Matters Staff

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