Letters to the Editor

Lawsuit threat results in a written apology | Letters


Port of Coupeville Commissioners Marshall Bronson and Benye Weber finally signed a letter of apology and retraction after they publicly accused me, behind my back, of an illegal and unethical review of public records.

They made their accusations shortly after I questioned the adequacy of the port’s review of Greenbank Farm finances.

Admitting that I did nothing wrong was the right thing for them to do, but it took my threat of a lawsuit to get them to do it.

They damaged a taxpayer’s good name and reputation and wasted taxpayer’s money on legal advice — all because they made statements that they knew or should have known to be false.

After Bronson and Weber made their accusations, the Whidbey News-Times printed an opinion in support of the commissioners. The opinion, like the related front-page article, failed to mention that I was given permission to review records by the port’s executive director. Also, that he had instructed others, including the adjacent shop owner, to let me in the office when he was not there.

The Whidbey News-Times reporter knew this before he wrote the story and it should have been mentioned in the opinion.

Commissioner Bronson’s and Weber’s accusations were an inexcusable abuse of public office. The Whidbey News-Times coverage of the issue was one-sided and a disservice to its readers. I did nothing illegal, unethical and as Commissioners Bronson and Weber now admit, nothing improper.

I looked at public records concerning public property. Evidently, it was public scrutiny of the port’s actions that the two commissioners did not like.

Rick Abraham

Editor’s note: The Whidbey News-Times article did, in fact, report that Abraham had permission from the executive director to enter the office and review files in his role on a volunteer port committee. However, the question was how broad was that permission, and whether Abraham should be accessing port records without supervision after that committee’s work was completed. We stand by our coverage.


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