Lisa Behrens, the former Deputy Director of EMS, who is suing the MSB for wrongful termination, is accusing the MSB of threatening a key witness in her lawsuit.
Ms. Behrens filed a Motion for a Protective Order and for Sanctions against the MSB on January 7th. She claims that the MSB, through their contract attorneys – the law firm of Perkins Coie – threatened and intimidated witness William F. Gamble, constructively preventing his deposition. Mr. Gamble signed a “legal settlement” (which they are terming a Non Disclosure Agreement) with the MSB in 2017. According to Ms. Behrens’ Motion, Mr. Gamble has important (potentially dispositive) information relevant to her case. Thus, her attorneys wanted to take his deposition. However, Mr. Gamble was reluctant to participate in a deposition without either the MSB’s permission or a court order. Ms. Behrens’ legal team tried repeatedly to no avail to get the MSB to inform Mr. Gamble that the NDA did not prevent him from sitting for the deposition. Finally, on the morning of the deposition, the MSB’s Perkins Coie attorney called Mr. Gamble “threatening him should he testify in deposition.”
The MSB denies these accusations.
A two hour hearing on this motion is scheduled for Thursday, March 22nd, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Palmer Superior Court.
Here is the Motion (with lots of exhibits), the MSB’s Opposition (with exhibits including an affidavit from MSB Atty Nick Spiropoulos), and the Reply.
From the Manager’s Memo dated January 12, 2018:
The MSB has released the previously confidential Manager’s Memos pursuant to a Public Records Request.
There are a total of 34 memos. The format is – a few pages of updates from the Manager – followed by many pages of attachments. The memos are all marked “Not for Distribution.”
Memo #1 08-11-2016
Memo #2 – is missing; they are still reviewing it for release
Memo #3 09-09-2016
Memo #4 09-23-2016
Memo #5 10-03-2016
Memo #6 10-21-2016
Memo #7 11-07-2016
Memo #8 12-22-2016
Memo #9 01-13-2017
Memo #10 02-06-2017 – Part 1
02-06-2017 – Part 2
02-06-2017 – Part 3
Memo #11 03-06-2017 – Part 1
03-06-2017 – Part 2
Memo #12 05-01-2017
Memo #13 05-15-2017
Memo #14 05-30-2017
Memo #15 06-13-2017 – Part 1
06-13-2017 – Part 2
Memo #16 06-29-2017
Memo #17 08-14-2017
Memo #18 09-01-2017
Memo #19 09-22-2017
Memo #20 10-17-2017
Memo #21 11-09-2017
Memo #22 12-11-2017
Memo #23 01-12-2018
Memo #24 01-29-2018
Memo #25 02-20-2018
Memo #26 04-24-2018
Memo #27 05-17-2018
Memo #28 06-14-2018
Memo #29 07-06-2018
Memo #30 09-20-2018
Memo #31 10-05-2018
Memo #32 10-24-2018
Memo #33 12-20-2018
and the final memo (and only memo of 2019):
Memo #34 01-17-2019
The Mat-Su Borough Assembly used to require the MSB Staff/Purchasing Office to file a monthly report disclosing all new contracts (and all amended contracts) under 100K and all sole source procurements.
The MSB stopped providing this information in the Assembly meeting packets a few years ago. I have sent several emails to the MSB manager (and various other MSB folks) asking why the MSB is no longer issuing these Informational Memorandums. However, I have gotten no answers.
This disclosure requirement was put in place by the Assembly in approx 2005 when the Assembly voted to allow the Manager to approve contracts under 100K. The Assembly used to approve all contracts over 20K…so when they voted to increase this amount to 100K, it was with the understanding that the Manager/Purchasing Director would disclose all contracts. (As soon as I find the Ordinances and Resolutions I will post them.)
I recently discussed this issue with a former Assembly member who was on the Assembly when this requirement was put into place. He was surprised and aghast that the MSB was not abiding by this requirement.
Here is an example from October 18, 2011:
The Big Lake Iron Dog Trail Bridge building project has been delayed because two pieces of heavy equipment have fallen through the ice. Above is a photo of the scene out in Big Lake shared by a poster on Facebook. (Update: Apparently the dozer is undernearth the excavator!)
Apparently, this happened just after the MSB PR Dept issued this press release:
The contractor is Diversified Construction, Inc.:
Note: It seems like the project was already delayed from its original completion date of Jan 31, 2019 anyhow:
Here are the bid documents:
18-088P Big Lake Iron Dog Trail Bridges Design Build
A2_Big Lake Trail Bridges Pictures
A3_MSB Standard Mods – All 100’s as of 8-22-17
Addenda #1_18-088P with Attachments
Col. Paul “Otto” Feather had had it with the MSB and flown away. Here is his resignation letter from January. (Highlights are mine.)