Letters to the Editor

CADA: Stafford firing is a true travesty

I have known Val Stafford for eight years as we are colleagues in the same profession.

I’ve been the executive director of Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services for 13 years and during this time, I have worked with Val on many projects. I can say that she is and has always been the ultimate professional.

I have yet to meet another director (including myself) that exceeds or even meets her level of skills and proficiency. On many occasions, she was a tremendous help to me providing not only support but also a wealth of information regarding many aspects of our work including assistance with the rigorous sexual assault accreditation requirements.

She had an excellent understanding of domestic violence and sexual assault issues and worked diligently to ensure that comprehensive services would be provided to victims of abuse in Island County. She wrote many grants that initiated and/or expanded services for victims of abuse. Val was always more than willing to share tips with me on how to accomplish the same thing in our county.

Like many of us in this field, Val had the perseverance and the unselfish desire to work toward ending violence in her community. She did a tremendous job of educating the public in so many different and creative ways. I was always amazed at how much she could accomplish so effectively. My staff and I participated in several workshops she offered; each one was well worth the time and effort it took to attend.

It is terribly sad that we have lost such a valuable program leader. I wish the CADA board would have given Val a fair chance to respond to the allegations made against her instead of just letting her go. When the board changed their role from an oversight body to that of “micro-management,” it appears they made some re-active and ill-informed decisions because of their lack of experience.

A true travesty of justice for both CADA and Val Stafford.

Pamela Crume,

executive director

Skagit DV&SA Services

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