Lisa Behrens accuses MSB legal team of Obstruction re: Human Resources materials & Deposition of HR Chief

Plaintiff Lisa Behrens filed a second “Motion for a Protective Order and Sanctions” as well as a related “Motion to Compel Production” in her lawsuit against the MSB on March 12, 2019.

In these motions, Ms. Behrens complains that the MSB legal team is interfering with her ability to depose witness Sonya Conant, the MSB’s Director of Human Resources.

The motion accuses the MSB of “repeated efforts to disrupt, delay, interfere with, and harass prosecution of Ms. Behren’s case. Two remarkably important depositions have been prevented: first, by (Perkins Coie Attorney) Jared Gardner’s witness tampering/intimidation (of Wm Gamble) and now by Ms. Ryman (Danielle Ryman, the Perkins Coie attorney/partner representing the MSB)’s self-initiated refusal to timely voice objections to deposition dates” for Ms. Conant’s deposition. “Ms. Ryman and her firm are playing games.”

Ms. Behrens is requesting an order from the court “which will allow Ms. Conant’s deposition freed of any consquence the defendants’ have previously orchestrated through their counsel.”

She is also requesting an order compelling the MSB to produce all material related to the MSB’s Human Resources’ investigation of Ms. Behrens’ HR complaint (following the MSB’s notice to her that they planned to terminate her employment.)

The MSB has not yet filed responses to these motions. (Their responses are not due yet.)

Update: The MSB did file a response – but the copy wasn’t in the file yesterday when I copied it.  The MSB has also filed a cross motion for sanctions.  (Why are the tax payers paying for all of this litigation?! )

cross motion

Herewith are the Plaintiff’s twin motions re: the HR witness and materials:

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Lisa Behrens accuses MSB of threatening key witness in her lawsuit

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.

https://matsumuckraker.com/2018/08/04/former-msb-deputy-director-of-emergency-services-files-lawsuit-against-the-msb/

https://matsumuckraker.com/2019/02/12/the-gamble-settlement/

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.

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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.

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Confidential Manager’s Memos

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.”

2016-year_in_review_Large

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

2017 year in review

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

2018-Year-In-Review-2

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

 

 

MSB is failing to disclose small & sole source contracts

disclosure

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:

contractsContracts 2

Big Lake Trail Bridges project delay

Big Lake Dozer

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:

Big Lake Bridges 2

The contractor is Diversified Construction, Inc.:

Big Lake Bridges bid

Note: It seems like the project was already delayed from its original completion date of Jan 31, 2019 anyhow:

Big Lake Trails 2

Big Lake Trails

Here are the bid documents:

18-088P Big Lake Iron Dog Trail Bridges Design Build

A1_BigLakeBridges_Map

A2_Big Lake Trail Bridges Pictures

A3_MSB Standard Mods – All 100’s as of 8-22-17

Addenda #1_18-088P with Attachments

Addenda #2_18-088P

AM#18-20_18-088P