Complaint filed against Clallam County auditor

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

SEATTLE — A Sequim-based state licensing subagent whose contract was terminated by Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand filed a complaint against her Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Karen Shewbert's May 2012 contract termination was upheld by a state review board in summer 2012 after she told the board she contributed to the circumstances that led to the contract's cutoff.

The Sequim vehicle-vessel licensing office, which Shewbert had operated for 12 years, was reopened in November 2012 under a new subagent contract with Suzan Mansfield.

Rosand told the state Department of Licensing Review Board that Shewbert breached the agreement by not providing adequate financial documents to Rosand for several months and that Shewbert “didn't want a good working relationship.”

Not seeking re-election

Rosand, a two-term incumbent, is not seeking re-election this year.

Shewbert, who lives in Pullman, according to her brother, Dan Antoni of Spokane, is seeking attorney fees and unspecified punitive damages.

She also is seeking unspecified damages for economic loss, mental anguish and emotional distress.

In the first part of Shewbert's two-pronged complaint, she alleged Rosand deprived her of property without due process by shutting down her business without providing sufficient notice, without just cause and with “no opportunity to be heard.”

In her second cause of action, Shewbert alleged Rosand breached the contract she had with Shewbert that was entered into Dec. 16, 2008, and was set to end June 30, 2012.

Shewbert alleges that beginning in June 2011, “Rosand began a persistent pattern of making unreasonable and unnecessary requests and demands on [Shewbert] to provide copies of financial records, check registers, bank reconciliation statements and other records.”

'Unreasonable' demands

According to the complaint, the “unreasonable and unnecessary” demands and requests hindered Shewbert from serving the public and fulfilling the contract.

Shewbert's lawyer, Paul Burns of Spokane, said Wednesday that Rosand had not been served with notice of the complaint as of Wednesday but will be within 30 days.

Rosand, who answers to the state Department of Licensing on the subagent contract, said Wednesday she had not seen the complaint and would not comment on it.

Burns said he had not read a June 21, 2012, Peninsula Daily News account of Shewbert's comments at a hearing before the state review board, which at the time was considering Shewbert's appeal of her termination.

“I would have made more of an attempt for [Rosand] to talk to me and not settling things by mail,” Shewbert said at the hearing.

Burns said he did not know why Shewbert waited more than two years to file the complaint.

“She has legitimate claims, and I intend to pursue them for her,” he said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 28. 2014 12:11AM
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