Chamber meeting Tuesday to focus on Lawrence

THE CO-CHAIRMAN OF a group of 15 Sequim chamber members asking for more information about Lee Lawrence’s firing said his demands had been met by the chamber’s e-mailed “Public Statement related to the Dismissal of the Chamber Executive Director.”

Gilbert Simon said Friday that the allegations against Lawrence were serious.

“As an employer confronted with circumstances like that, I’d have no choice but to ask him to leave,” Simon said.

“If it’s truthful, it’s between his conscience and his family.

“If not, the chamber board has basically destroyed itself.”

The group threatened last week to attend the chamber meeting Tuesday, amend the chamber’s by-laws, remove the current directors and officers and install a new interim board.

On Saturday, Simon, who with his wife owns Sequim Village Glass in Carlsborg, said the group instead would question the board on the following points:

  • The lack of an audit to substantiate rumors that Lawrence had improperly used a chamber credit card for personal purchases.

    Simon said Lawrence had reimbursed the chamber for gasoline he had bought with the credit card.

  • “Certain commercial transactions” that could be “self-dealing and/or conflicts of interest.”

    Simon said these included buying badges for Sequim’s Irrigation Festival, commissioning a business survey and redesigning the chamber’s Web site.

  • The board currently having no treasurer.

  • Who would bear responsibility for legal fees, settlements and judgments from any lawsuit over Lawrence’s firing.

    Lawrence said he hadn’t decided whether to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

    It starts at noon in the Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road.

    The meeting is open to the public, and seating will be available for those who are having lunch.

    The chamber canceled a planned program on heart health and stress management so that the meeting can be a forum devoted to a discussion about Lawrence’s firing.

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