Whidbey Examiner


Letter: Port commissioners should repay funds

May 4, 2013 · Updated 3:36 PM


Port of Coupeville commissioners Marshall Bronson and Benye Weber should repay the public funds spent and wasted as a result of the false statements they made at the port’s Feb. 13 public meeting.

Their statements described my unattended review of public records as “illegal” and “unethical.”

After being threatened with legal action, both commissioners finally admitted my review of public records was not improper and was conducted with permission.

It is one thing to make an honest mistake, but taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the reckless actions of public officials.

Before he made his accusations, I informed Bronson that I had permission from the port’s executive director to review the records.

Executive Director Jim Patton gave me permission, and he has also stated that he discussed the matter with Weber before she made her accusations.

It is only fair that the two commissioners repay taxpayers the amount of public funds spent on attorney’s fees and the amount paid to Patton, at $50 an hour, for his time on the issue.

This money could go toward the port’s legitimate needs, like the maintenance of Coupeville Wharf where paint is peeling down to bare wood.

I am told the commissioners will not disclose the amount of money paid to the port’s retained attorney for his attention to this matter.

I believe the public has a right to know and have it returned.

Rick Abraham



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