Gold Bar’s trash fraud exposed by Washington State Auditor

Ever heard the old saying “trash is valuable”?  Perhaps many of my readers have not, but Gold Bar’s former Mayors Joe Beavers and Linda Loen sure have as they both frauded hundreds of thousands of Gold Bar residents out of hard earned money.  

Why? To hide criminal racketeering crimes disseminated into email by the 2009 Gold Bar governing body, Lonn Turner, Joe Beavers, Crystal Hill ( nee Berg, convicted of bank fraud, 2005) Dorothy Croshaw,  and Richard Norris and terminated Snohomish County director of emergency management John E Pennington. 

The armadillo has a hard shell

The Honorable Justice Scalia said in Doe v Reed (Referedum 71) ” Democracy requires a certain amount of civic courage.” Of course it does because public participation requires a person to debate an issue that the message receiver may or not may agree with, some deep heated issues, often involving politics, religion and race and ethic issues. 

I, an activist journalist, can spur much hate mail as much as much fan mail. I often do. Why is simple: doing so triggers debate, and debate triggers change. 

In 2008, I requested access to Gold Bar’s Mayor Crystal Hill’s email communication because public records revealed that a city worker sabotaged s the city’s water system, but instead of reporting his acts of domestic terrorism, she covered it up and bribed the worker  with taxpayers money to remain silent. Silent about what he knew about her check frauding scheme of stealing taxpayer monies, misusing the city’s credit cards, stealing petty cash, stealing federal emergency relief money and aiding John Pennington with forging Redmond Distrcit Court records after he violently assaulted a 3rd trimester pregnant Duvall council member. 

What my readers and 43 Oso mudslide victims know all too well is John Pennington is an extremely dangerous man with major health issues; and the City of Gold Bar taxpayers having expanded over $1,500,000,000 for the city to hide John Pennington, Crystal Hill, Lonn Turner and Joe Beavers criminal conduct of conspiring to harm a citizen placed into public emails. 

For years the State Auditor’s Office, including State Auditor Brian Sontag, assisted the City of Gold Bar with hiding criminal conduct by conducting sloppy audits, and at least one auditor Tiffany Lindsey even tipped Crystal Hill off after a special audit request was filed by emailing Ms. Hill in February 2009 saying ” Crystal call me! ” 

I’m not sure my readers but any public official that refers to another public official in first name is a friend. Sadly for Gold Bar, Washington State Auditor Tiffany Lindsey’s tipping Crystal Hill off that she was under investigation for fraud is the main reason why Gold Bar is now officially bankrupt and Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has now taken over daily operations of the City.

To say only the State Auditor is at fault for the City’s financial malfeasance places blame only on one, when in fact the blame for theft of public funds includes Associaiton of Washington Cities  (who had a plan to go after the public records requester instead of turning over the emails) , and Snohomish County Prosecutor  Mark Roe ( who covered up Crystal Hill many bank frauds and viooently assulaitjg a nd brushing a six year old child as a political favor to Aaron Reardon).

Had the political fools not disseminated their racketeering conduct inside Gold Bar’s public emails, the City would not be floating in a sinking boat. A boat that because of the Public Records Act, allowed us to uncover Mayor Joe Beavaers and Linda Loen’s fraudulent scheme to steal from Paul to pay Peter. 

Ponzi Schemes always fail

In 2010, Gold Bar’s Mayor Joe Beavers unilaterally decided to dump Waste Managment in favor of Republic Services. Waste Management billed the taxpayers directly, while Republic Services billed the City and then the city would bill residents.   When I learned this fact, I started investigating how much money the city contracted with Republic for, and soon learned that Joe Beavers was up charging residents for trash and recycle costs. 

The numbers didn’t match, first clue; imagine you get a bill for $15,0000.00 but the city changes the bill to say you really owe $16,800.00. This is an up charge.  But the real question is is It legal? 

Our source said “No. not only is it not legal it’s out right fraud upon the taxpayers. As a city cannot make a profit. ”  But that’s exactly what Joe Beavers was doing, robbing Paul to pay Peter. 

Mayor Joe Beavers’s up charge ( fraud) on trash pickup misspropriated taxpayer money to fund legal litigation to hide John Pennington, Lonn Turner, and Crystal Hill’s racketeering crimes. Crimes they were stupid enough to disseminate into public emails. ️Emails the city is hiding at Kenyon Disend’s Law office in Issaquah Washington in violation of Washington States Public Records Act.

Those who know me, probably can guess that I am planning to file the largest class action suit against the City of Gold Bar for fraud and to have Beavaers, John Pennington, Lonn Turner and Crystal Hill Pennington behind bars regardless  of how long it takes. 

We guesstimate that Beavers and Loen’s theft of Gold Bar trash funds exceeds $ 100,000.00 and we are looking at other funds for the same fraudulent activity. Remember the City declared in a very public way in August 2012 that it s broke, but then managed to fund litigation since totaling over $1,500,000.00 with taxpayer monies. Money that did not fall out of the sky or grow on trees.

The Gold Bar Reporter intends to shine much needed sunlight on the City of Gold Bar’s fraud even if it takes another thirty years. 

City of Gold Bar’s governing body stealing water monies to hide crimes inside public records

Update: The City of Gold Bar’s Mayor Lee Hodo urged the Gold Bar council to misappropriate public monies to pay two more attorneys, making the grand total number of attorneys representing the City of Gold Bar to five (5).

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According to Gold Bar’s Mayor Lee Hodo, Shannon Ragonesi and Amanda Butler are  “trial” attorneys. Public records confirm that the two lawyers are being paid $585 per hour ( two lawyers) and the City’s current law firm Kenyon Disend gets paid $750 per hour.

In total, the City of Gold Bar is paying $1235.00 per hour, making September 2016 ‘ s warrant pay out at $125,000.00. The total annual budget for the City of Gold Bar is only $550,000.00.

Council member Ken Ware asked why isn’t Kenyon Disend representing the City, and Mayor Lee Hodo lied stating ” Kenyon Disend are too busy.” Ken Ware then suggested that the City hire a new law firm.

What Mayor Hodo didn’t disclose to the public is: the City is hiding public records at the Kenyon Disend’s office in Issaquah Washington. A felony in Washington State to hide conceal or remove public records from the City.  Hence why the City cannot be represented by Kenyon Disend.  Instead Mayor Lee Hodo lied to residents claiming that Kenyon Disend was too busy.

Earlier this year, the City Council voted to increase Gold Bar’s water rates by 271 % because former Mayors Joe Beavers, Crystal Hill Pennington (convicted of bank fraud in 2005, 2000 using two aliases, Berg and Chris Hill) and Linda Loen were stealing from the City’s water fund to fund legal litigation.  A felony in Washington State, amounting to racketeering.

Joe Beavers is being sued for racketeering and gross 1983 violations with trial to start in late 2017.

In August 2012, the City of Gold Bar claimed it was bankrupt and needed residents to pass a new tax levy to fund litigation.  The voters rejected the City’s tax hike, leaving the City to either turn over public records its been hiding or steal from the City’s water fund.

Mayor Lee Hodo, and council members Ken Ware, J Dawson, Davi Martin ( who is also being sued for racketeering after public records confirm she was writing on John and Crystal Hill Pennington’s Sky Valley Chronicle website; a site they set up to criminally harass their opponents), and Brian Diaz chose to continue the stealing Gold Bar residents water funds to hide racketeering crimes.

Joe Beavers said  ” if these records are released the City is gone. I was also threatened by Association of Washington Cities (AWC) that if I turned over the records, AWC would cancel the City’s insurance policy.”

According to the Washington State Auditor, “there’s $200,000.00 missing and not one person can explain where it went.”

In attempt to cover up Mayor Hodo’s misappropriation of public monies,  the City hired disgraced former Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon’s attorneys below.

Not one single Gold Bar council member asked ” why does the city need a trial attorney? Did we commit crimes? Is there someone going to trial, prison, and for what? ”

Mayor Lee Hodo admitted that AWC has rejected the City’s cost in all public records matters, leaving the City to pay $1235.00 per hour to hide criminal racketeering crimes Beavers, Hill, Pennington, Kelly, and Lonn Turner  ( former council member, 2009) disseminated inside email communication.

With more lawsuits expected to be filed by others, Mayor Hodo should hope that the federal government doesn’t find out that the City is stealing public water funds, otherwise the USDA may call in its water tower loan.

With more lawsuits on the way by others, perhaps the City will double the number lawyers in 2017


UPDATE:  Seattle attorney Shannon Ragonesi sends threatening emails to Gold Bar Reporter after we report that Shannon Ragonesi filed a false instrument with King County Superior Court ORDERING the Gold Bar Reporters not to contact our public officials. Not only does is Ms. Ragonesi committing fraud on the taxpayers of Gold Bar, she is also trying to unilaterally rewrite the First Amendment.

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Washington State attorneys Amanda Butler ( left) and Shannon Ragonesi

Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S ( Seattle Washington)


I generally sway away from writing articles on lawyers ( probably because I feel most are just doing their job), until I have concrete evidence of fraud or gross misconduct. Such is the case with Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi.

Amanda Butler, and Shannon Ragonesi are two lawyers who are not only guilty of fraud and gross legal misconduct, but who are also guilty of fleecing the taxpayers of Gold Bar Washington out of thousands of taxpayer dollars.  Both are employees with Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S ( Seattle Washington).

Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi aren’t stealing from the taxpayers with the assistance of the Washington State Bar. My dedicated readers may remember that the Washington State Bar Association publically voted this summer to drop the word “Association” from its name.

Why, because the Washington State Bar Association has been hijacked by criminals like Everett attorney Geoffrey Gibbs ( convicted of fraud in the 1990s, having his lobbying license permanently revoked for stealing client’s money and is now a high ranking member of the Washington State Bar Association)  in attempt to shift millions of dollars of racketeering liability off on the Washington State taxpayers. This after at least six lawsuits for Sherman Anti-Trust and RICO violations were filed in U.S. Federal District Court against the Bar.

With no surprise, Shannon Ragonesi is a former government official who gets enormous financial contracts with Snohomish County as a result ( totaling over $1 Million dollars last year alone), and Ms. Butler well she claims to be a ” senior” attorney who appears to have failed Ethics or simply believes that since her partner Shannon Ragonesi is a personal and dear friend Snohomish County Prosecutor Seth Fine and a former member of the Washington State Bar Association’s Rules Committee thus not accountable to we the people.

In December 2014, the US Supreme Court held in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners Case that the Bar Boards can be held personally liable for Sherman Anti-Trust violations. One reason why the Washington State Bar dropped the word Association, her firm, Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S ( Seattle Washington) reaps the benefits of those “free market participants associations.”


 

Gold Bar Washington has been cited for four years for misappropriation of public funds. In the 2013 Special Audit Washington State Auditor wrote ” there’s $200,000.00 missing and not one city employee can state where it went.”

The Gold Bar Reporters know where it went; into the pockets of unethical lawyers like Amanda Butler, Shannon Ragonesi, Michael Kenyon, Margaret King and Ann Marie Soto.  Why, to hide terminated and disgraced Snohomish County’s political appointee John Pennington, and former Gold Bar Mayors Joe Beavers, Crystal Hill Pennington (bank fraud, once in Snohomish County 2005, and once in North Carolina using an alias of Chris Hill in 2000) criminal racketeering and HIPPA crimes they disseminated into email communication.

Those of my readers should note that Snohomish County Washington hired Shannon Ragonesi on behalf of disgraced former Executive Aaron Reardon after our investigation lead to Aaron Reardon’s early retirement on tribal land in Southern California. A house Aaron Reardon paid 1/5 of the fair market price for, and an issue the federal government should have an interest in.  Aaron Reardon is being sued for racketeering in US Federal District Court.


 

A side note to the FBI. Perhaps a subpoena for former Snohomish County employee Christopher Schwartzen’s emails as it relates to transfer of public land in Marysville Washington from March to May 2011 should be sought ( within a month, Aaron Reardon has a piece of property in Indigo California)?  YES, tit for tat.

If Snohomish County claims it doesn’t exist, please email the Gold Bar Reporter and will do our best to get that to the FBI as soon as possible.


 


 

In late December 2015, Gold Bar Reporter filed a racketeering,  and several civil rights complaints in US Federal Court, Seattle. Instead of recusing himself, Judge Ricardo Martinez as mandated the 9th Circuit, He  did what any unethical and corrupt judge would do, he kept himself on the case because several of his friends at the Washington State Bar Association are defendants. Block v WSBA, et al.

Washington State attorneys Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi from the law firm of Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S entered a notice of appearance on behalf of the City of Gold Bar and its former Mayors Linda Loen, Crystal Hill Pennington, and Joe Beavers. 

Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S also entered a notice of appearance for Snohomish County’s public officials, Jon Rudicil and Aaron Reardon after both were caught committing racketeering offenses as outlined by Snohomish County reporters Scott North and Noah Haglund.

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Washington State Professional Responsibility. As members of a profession and officers of the court, lawyers are obligated to act in a professional manner, obey the law, avoid conflicts of interest, and to put the interests of clients ahead of their own interests. 

So my readers can assume that since Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi entered notices of appearances on behalf of the City of Gold Bar. As a result, the Gold Bar Reporter requested a copy of any contract with the City of Gold Bar, and the City claims that there is none.

In Washington State Bar Association v. Bradley Marshall, the Washington State Supreme Court held that all agreements must be in writing, clearing stating to the clients all potential and actual conflicts of interests that are foreseeable.

So my readers can imagine that one a Washington State lawyer enters a Notice of Appearance, a contract for legal services must exist. But apparently, attorneys Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi seem to be the exception or simply lack common sense.

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This gross unethical breach resulted in a public records request sent to the City of Gold Bar for all records sent or received by any employee from Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S and Crystal Hill Pennington, Linda Loen, Joe Beavers and any Gold Bar contractor or employee over the last year.

Because there was no contract that exist, the so called “senior” counsel from Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S records are now public records subject Washington State’s Public Records Act with more lawsuits expected to be filed in King County ( where the records are actually being concealed, a felony in Washington State) without redaction or exemptions.

Stupid is as stupid does.  One thing is clear, our readers can assume that University of Washington is not teaching common sense and Ethics is not a core requirement. Unless both lawyers failed ethics and somehow managed to escape law school requirement of at least a Grade Point Average of at least a 3.0 in every class to obtain a Juris Doctorate.


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I’d like for our readers to know that Shannon Ragonesi’s bio on the website of Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S states the following:

Shareholder

Shannon is a shareholder and member of the Board of Directors of KBM. Her law practice encompasses civil rights litigation, employment litigation, labor law, school law, public records act litigation, and wrongful death and personal injury defense. She represents governmental agencies, schools, fire districts, police agencies, and their employees; as well as private corporations and citizens. Shannon has represented her clients in over 60 jury and bench trials in federal and state courts and labor arbitrations. She has also expertly represented her clients before the Washington state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a further, integral part of her law practice, Shannon investigates potential claims and provides guidance to her clients on litigation avoidance strategies.

Prior to joining Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S., Shannon was a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp where she served for over five years as a Senior Prosecuting Attorney, a Senior Torts Attorney, Chief of Military Justice, and a Military Magistrate.


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Ms. Amanda Buter’s bio states from Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S website states:

Amanda is a Senior Associate with Keating Bucklin & McCormack, Inc. P.S. Her practice involves all aspects of municipal and school defense litigation, including employment and labor law, law enforcement/civil rights, premises liability, personal injury, and land use.  She is also an expert in litigation avoidance strategies in order to best serve her clients.

Amanda successfully represents her clients in Washington State Superior Courts, the United States District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, the Ninth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Keating Bucklin & McCormack, Amanda served as a law clerk for the Complex Litigation Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. She graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.


 

After the Gold Bar Reporter requested a copy of any contract with the City of Gold Bar from Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S and/or its attorneys Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi, the City of Gold Bar did what its be doing for years, covering up its criminal racketeering conduct by trying to get council approval at the next Gold Bar council meeting.

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For the City of Gold Bar taxpayers, this gets even worse since Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi claim to have expended over $100,000.00 without a single contract, and they’ve already filed legal papers falsely certifying to several courts. This conduct amounts to fraud upon the courts.

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But wait, the City of Gold Bar claimed in Block v WSBA et al that its had thousands of dollars of legal fees with Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S and Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi. Can legal fees be accessed without a fee agreement or contract?

Sadly, Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi already filed notices in two cases claiming to the attorneys for Gold Bar, and even managed to get fees, falsely certifying that they had a fee agreement, thus a contract.

The Washington State Auditor’s said ” the city cannot engage a law firm without a contact and must place bid notices beforehand.”

A lawsuit against Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S and Amanda Butler and Shannon Ragonesi will be filed for fraud, Consumer Protection  etc.

Perhaps the University of Washington and Seattle University  Law Schools should have a special legal education class for lawyers titled ” Common Sense, 101″ because at least two of its “senior” lawyers failed or missed common sense and ethics classes.


 

Margaret Mead

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can 

change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Arthur West does Gold Bar

Long time open government supporter and activist Arthur West has filed suit against the City of Gold Bar, after Snohomish County Superior Court held in Block v Gold Bar that the City violated Our Court’s holding in Hobbs v State Auditor, 183 Wn.App. 925 (2014).

The City’s public records officer is Joe Beavers, Gold Bar’s former Mayor who has misappropriated over $1,000,000.00 hiding computer crimes, amounting to Racketeering, involving Gold Bar’s former Mayor Crystal Hill ( nee Berg, convicted of bank fraud in 2005) and disgraced former Director John E. Pennington ( man responsible for causing 43 people in the Oso Washington mudslides to suffocate to death and the rape of a 5 year old girl from Cowlitz County).

In Hobbs, Our Court held that an agency must give a reasonable estimate of time. The agency’s estimate must clearly must state when the records requested are expected to be released, but once it fails to do so, it’s deemed to be an automatic violation of RCW 42.56.  See Hobbs v State Auditor.

Since 2010, the City of Gold Bar, mainly Joe Beavers, has been refusing to provide a timely estimate, but instead simply places hundreds of records requests on the City’s priority log without a specific date in violation of Hobbs, refusing to answer requests for over five years in many cases.

As just one example of just how blatant the City’s disregard for the Public Records Act ( PRA) has become, in 2014 I requested a copy of the City’s Budget from former Mayor Linda Loen, a simple records request that still remains outstanding as of today.

In several instances, the Gold Bar Reporters caught Beavers and the former clerk, Laura Kelly (who was fired for theft of public funds), answering public records requests for friends, including former Mayor Crystal Hill and Sky Valley Chronicle owner Ron Fejfar, without ever being placed on the City’s priority log.

Joe Beavers ( former financial officer who bankrupted an engineering firm in Clinton Connecticut, 2001, forcing his early retirement), Crystal Hill ( Nee Berg, convicted of bank fraud 2005),  Linda Eide at the Washington State Bar Association ( caught destroying and altering evidence in attorney Robert Grundstien’s case), attorneys Margaret King and Michael Kenyon, and Sky Valley Chronicle owner Ron Fejfar are being sued under RICO with depositions expected to start early in 2017.

In March 2014, Arthur West was given Washington Coalition for Open Government Key Award for his continuous and outstanding contributions in advancing open government issues here in Washington State.

On March 11, 2014, Snohomish County Court held in Block v Gold Bar, that the City of Gold Bar had violated RCW 42.56, when it refused to provide records to me for over five years.

The City’s trouble have just begun as the City has ten additional requests in the same boat – over five years old- and continues to thumb its nose at the Public Records Act (PRA) by refusing to provide a estimate as to when the City intends to answer records requests. This violates our Court’s holding in Hobbs.

As of today in Block v Gold Bar, the City has withheld over 330 emails for over 2000 days, and recently turned over records with metadata dating back to May 2010 ( in the same year the records were actually requested).  Metadata is to electronic records as DNA is to unlocking human existence; it tells us when the records were created and who created them.

One can only speculate as to why the City refused to provide records it had readily had available in its possession for over five years.  Stupid is a stupid does, but one resident said  “ I saw Joe Beavers at the doctor’s office, a doctor that treats dementia related diseases.”

Lately, pictures of Joe Beavers illustrates just how mentally unfit he is.  One open government supporter said  “ he smells and looks like a homeless man.”

Snohomish County Superior Court held in March that the City violated the PRA, thus I am entitled to costs, and other fees associated with suit, including attorney fees at $220 per hours plus a per day penalty of up to $105 per day for each of the 330 plus emails withheld.
The Gold Bar Reporters commend Arthur West for shinning much needed sunlight on the cockroaches from Gold Bar who are spitting on open government concepts I view more valuable than life itself.

I also thank Joe Beavers for posting defamatory articles on the Sky Valley Chronicle as I believe this gave rise to Mr. West’s interest in the cockroaches who have ruining Gold Bar.

 

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In 2016, Our Court also held that each page of unlawfully withheld records calls for a per day penalty for each record withheld. In my case, Beavers unlawfully withheld public records relating to WSBA complaints he ordered former Gold Bar clerk Penny Brenton to write, misusing City staff and resources, thus making each complaint subject to the PRA.

 

Penalty for improperly withholding public record can be calculated on a per page basis.

See Wade’s Eastside Gun Shop v. Department of Labor and Industries, ___ Wn.2d ___ (3/24/2016) – When the Department of Labor and Industries failed to provide certain records of an investigation (which the court determined were not exempt) a penalty was imposed calculated according to the number of pages found in each document. On appeal, the supreme court upheld the trial court’s decision, noting that the trial court has discretion to determine what is a relevant record, and it did not abuse that discretion by imposing penalties on a per page basis. The court also held that the records were not categorically exempt as investigative records since the Department of Labor and Industries did not prove that withholding them was essential to effective law enforcement.

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