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WASHAM: Recall leader gets to play by different rules

Letter by Billie Jean Tilstra, Graham on April 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm with 11 Comments »
April 29, 2011 2:44 pm

What is that odor lingering in the air? Sort of like rotten eggs? Oh, I get it. It is coming from The News Tribune (4-29) and the leader of the Dale Washam recall effort, Robin Farris.

Isn’t it nice that she does not have to play by the same rules Washam is held to? She does not have to pay her lawyers, and her fine of $500 was suspended by the state Public Disclosure Commission and she only has to pay half of it.

The charges of violating regulations governing the reporting of campaign contributions by initially placing her recall campaign in the wrong category and failing to realize that free legal services counts as in-kind contributions were conveniently ignored. After all, she didn’t know that!

Surely the attorneys who worked with her were aware of that, wouldn’t you think? Seems strange we are not held responsible when we plead ignorance.

It seems rather strange her errors are quickly washed away, and she is not held to the same rules in this little game as Washam is.

I don’t know Washam, but I know a set-up when I read about it. Washam was doomed from the start; he is not one of the gang.

I hope when people are approached for a signature on a recall petition that they will remember the rule of fair play.


Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    You can bet your azz that Dale is being punished for uncovering grave mistakes in the past, identifying them, and naming names. No good deed goes unpunished.

  2. Ridiculous!

  3. Bonnie,
    I fail to see the connection between my PDC violation and Mr, Washam violating his employees civil rights. In my case, I violated the law. When I realized my mistake, I took corrective steps. I was honest and have not made the mistake again. The only person hurt in this case is me. For your knowledge, the PDC typically suspends a portion of the fine.

    I hope that you will take the time to read the investigations…I know that you wouldn’t want to work for someone who retaliated against you. One person complaining is a personality conflict…two people, well its just a tough boss…three people complaining, we have a leadership problem…five people we have a track record. In an office that was considered “low maintenance” in the past suddenly has personnel issues…it is always the leader that is the problem.

    Mr. Washam violated his employees civil rights over and over. There are three investigations, all three investigators (all employment attorneys) determined that Washam retaliated against his employees. What did Mr. Washam do? He sure didn’t take corrective action…not the first time, not the second time, surprisingly not even the third time. This is not a set up…Mr. Washam flagrantly violates employment laws that have been in place since the 60’s. His disregard for employment laws is putting every citizen in Pierce County liable for millions of dollars. If you feel that strongly, I hope that you will consider paying my portion of the bill we are going to get.

    My attorneys did not know about the PDC rule. My attorneys are business and tax attorneys…No one, including the PDC is an expert on where recalls fit in campaign disclosure, as there have only been a half dozen recalls in Washington history. If they did know, we would have had the conversation with the PDC well before December. Additionally, we wouldn’t have been out of compliance if Mr. Washam hadn’t lied to Judge Felnagle and said that he hadn’t been served a copy of the amended petition. If you are interested in seeing this documentation I have the service report and the court transcripts.

    Literally everyone knows and agrees that physical inspections were not completed. Everyone knew it in 2005…the news is not getting any fresher with time. It was the decision of the previous Assessor Treasurer…not the employees.

    What you are comparing in your editorial is apples and oranges…Look at it this way, if I have a traffic violation. I pay the fine…everyone is happy. In this context, Mr. Washam gets one ticket after another and burns the citation in the policeman’s presence. It is flagrant disrespect for the law. And you wonder why he is getting unwanted attention.

  4. I think it’s fine to see a non government person getting a little slack and a government employee (elected or not) being held to a higher standard. As for thinking of the rule of fair play when I saw the petition…if I had done that I would have run, not walked, to get the pen and sign.

  5. Dave98373 says:

    Bottom line: Washam has disgraced the office. End of story. The only question remains is how much money this will end up costing taxpayers…which appears to be rising by the day!

  6. This witch hunt is getting stupid. Bottom line, like him or not, Washa has cleaned up the assessors office a ton!!!! Sally Barnes is a criminal, whether Lindquist does or doesn’t charge her and Madsen. They committed crimes, they are well documented with their own emails on the Pierce County Assessor’s office. Her claims are ridiculous, but she will get paid!! Great letter, it is amusing that Robin is given a pass for being “stupid”. And I’m not calling her that, I am quoting her from her own description of herself a few weeks ago in an interview.
    Washam’s legacy may simply be that he cleaned up a department, maybe went a little overboard, and all the wimps that are Union Protected lazy government employees whined about it. And even if he gets booted, he did the county a great service, cleaning up a dept. Maybe we could vote him for County Manager next, and he could clean up some more departments.

  7. Parkland says:

    Washam isn’t a good ol’ boy, and his employees are spoiled brats. Heaven forbid they’re expected to do their jobs rather than screw around on Facebook all day. Do you think for a minute that those who show up on time and do what’s expected of them are being hassled by Washam? Give me a break, this is simply an example of a culture of laziness suddenly asked to do their jobs.

  8. mattersnot1 says:

    Another thing, Robin, you state that the A/T office has been “low maintenance” in the past, but suddenly now has personnel issues. Wrong. There were far worse personnel problems with Madsen. You can find out about them in the Thurston County Superior Court Records.
    Your being used, Robin. When you’re no longer an asset, you’ll be dumped.

  9. commoncents says:

    it kills me to hear people defend someone who clearly can’t manage and has zero understanding of risk management. I’m not his boss – but if I were, I would have fired him a long time ago. If the employees were truly as bad as he thought they were then there are clear steps that he could have taken to get rid of them. He felt the rules didn’t apply to him (strangely this is exactly the way that Madsen felt too). As such, he needs to go. I don’t necessarily think the recall is the way to go as I don’t think him being recalled will prevent additional claims and lawsuits from being filed…but he does need to go.

  10. Seriously common???? He sought the advice of an employment attorney in order to get rid of Barnes. She was part of the Madsen criminal activity, was insubordinate; but also entrenched.

    It’s a witch-hunt, he may suck as a manager, but he has done this county a service by shaking up a department. He’s done more FOR our County than Madsen ever did. As for the 5 million or whatever that the loser employees are going to cheat the county out of, how much did they milk sitting around not doing their jobs for 30 years(in Barnes’ case). And that money is a small price to pay to clean up the department. Washam will probably get recalled-and maybe he should. Nevertheless, he can leave his employment with his head held high.

  11. Washam is nuts and is wasting tax payer money. People who actually support him are foolish if they think he is just a good “anti-establishment” choice willing to “shake things up.” He is nuts. Being nuts is not “anti-establishment,” it is simply: being nuts and not having the basic mental process and social abilities to act appropriately around others. If you happen to pay taxes in Pierce County, whether begrudgingly or happily, then you’re going to be giving away large lump sums, collectively, to those Washam has violated basic workplace rights with. Employers are not allowed to abuse their employees here in the real world in America.

    That is all.

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