Last week we published a story in which incoming Port of Coupeville Executive Director Tim McDonald questioned candidate Richard Bowen’s ability to serve as a port commissioner.
After hearing Bowen refer to a sustainable development project he was involved with in Montana during a recent candidate forum, McDonald did some research and found the development in question failed, was involved in a lawsuit and resulted in an order requiring Bowen to pay a fine.
McDonald came to us with his concerns. We took copies of the documents he obtained , found them ourselves as well as additional documentation and sources.
We also called Bowen multiple times, emailed him and called his campaign manager several times to discuss the issues raised.
Bowen contacted us by email hours after our deadline, saying he was in a remote location in Canada and would not be available until he returned.
The next day he was in our office explaining his involvement in the project and not very happy with the article.
This week he submitted a letter to the editor, which can be read on this page.
In the letter, Bowen said that had McDonald called him, he would have cleared everything up and the article never would have ran. That is not the case.
McDonald raised some valid questions with his inquiry. During our interview with Bowen, he did not dispute that he received an order from Washington Department of Financial Institutions Securities Division, citing he had “failed to disclose a reasonable expected annualized return on investment and failed to disclose there was no source to guarantee any repayment to investors.”
It also said he failed to disclose significant risks of the investment to investors.
The state agency ordered him to cease and desist and fined him $2,000 for investigation costs.
Bowen told us he paid the fine.
This order and fine raises red flags as to the manner in which business was conducted on this project.
It raised concerns with McDonald and it raised concerns with us.
Part of our job is sharing information with the public and letting readers base their own opinions on issues.
We presented the facts of the issue. The one thing missing from that story was Bowen’s explanation and response to the concerns.
Had Bowen contacted us by press deadline, we would have included them. Either way the story would have run because that’s our job. You can read Bowen’s response to these concerns this week. It’s up to the voters to form their opinions and decide if he can do the job.