Accusations of more misuse by PUD employees were brought up at the May 7 meeting, including running a gun business on a company cell phone, using a pile driver for personal use to build a deck, employees being a boss being treated for anger management, and the misuse of a man-lift. Addressing the PUD hierarchy at the meeting were Tim Pettit, Steve Sheary, Catherine Jones and Pat Myers.
Pettit, a former PUD No. 2 District employee, now living in Chelan, said a lot of people from Willapa Harbor have contacted him about wrongdoings in the Raymond branch. Pettit said that he was told that a current employee at the PUD is running a gun business at gunbrokers.com with his PUD cell phone. Pettit said he was also told about the misuse of a pile driver being used to build a dock.
Pettit: There concerns from people in the community. Does PUD pay for and supply the cell phones that the management people on call have to have? What’s concerning to me, do we have a policy at the PUD about not having firearms on the property by employees? Does anyone have a cell phone with the number 360-942-7270 on the management side of the PUD? Maybe we could call it? You guys can check on the phone number. If that is in fact a phone that the PUD is paying, and gun dealership is being run over that phone, then I think there’s a problem.
Sheary, a retired line foreman said he wanted to address a personal issue.
Sheary: As a leader of a crew I’ve had to deal with angry customers. There’s been more than one problem. I have I heard that a management employee was ordered to go to anger management class. If that’s true, did the district pay these costs? And, if so, could we have those costs? The same employee was heard threatening union employees with a change of manager and how things will be done in the future. Are the commissioner’s aware of this? Other PUD commissioners are moving in and looking into things that are going on. I’m just a ratepayer and I am a frustrated person that worked here and watching all this stuff going on. What are we doing? We’re giving out raises. I get angry over this. I told you personally that I don’t believe you’re being told the truth. I’m going to say that right in a public meeting. I hope there’s an opportunity for it to be proven. I hope you have the wherewithal and the guts to do whatever it takes to stop this, to stop this steamrolling of events. Jones, a former PUD employee, lambasted the PUD. “I was recently asked to be a witness for the plaintiffs in a court case against the PUD. As part of the PUD’s defense, I was personally blamed for a decade old past practice, which was in effect before I was even employed by the district. I find this despicable and I would like an apology!
Commissioner Diana Thompson responded by saying, “I’m not sure what to say. We don’t have any information to indicate what has gone on in a court case. It’s something we can get information about.”
Raymond resident Pat Myers described what took place concerning the rental of a man-lift for personal use by a PUD employee and paid for by the PUD after it was wrecked.
Myers: I’m here to talk for the third month in row about the man-lift. I’d like to ask the commissioners if any of you condone the use of PUD equipment by employees? Is that something that is permitted in this PUD?
Commissioner Mike Swanson: I’m sure we have a policy against it.
Myers: OK. And you all believe in that policy.
Commissioner Thompson: Would you continue?
Myers: I’d like the question answered.
Swanson: If there is such a policy, I would agree with it.
Thompson: We sign off on policy.
Commissioner Ron Hatfield: I believe in following g policy.
Myers then handed out a timeline of events and copies of invoices for the rental of the man-lift and read the sequence of events based on the documentation
Myers: I want to make a note about a comment that was made by Mr. Miller at the last meeting where he claimed that the lift that we wrecked was never utilized by the PUD. July 31st, 2003, Jason Dunsmoor orders a lift from United Rentals Northwest to be delivered to 590 Hinkle Street.
“United Rental delivers it on August 4, 2003. The lift is taken to Jason Dunsmoor’s house on August 4 2003, and is used at this site placing 25.9 hours on the machine between August 4 and August 11, 2003. That’s seven days. On the seventh day, the property was being attempted of being removed from Mr. Dunsmoor’s property by a PUD crew when an accident occurred while still on Mr. Dunsmoor’s property, and it resulted in the damage of the man-lift. There was an accident report prepared on that day. The lift was returned to United Rentals and the invoice attached damages pending with no identification of any deductible insurance of any kind.
I’ll remind you, last meeting Mr. Miller claimed that $1,147.64 was paid as an insurance deductible for that man-lift. Also, if you note on the invoice, it says, rental protection declined. At the time of the rental equipment, every rental company offers insurance, and this company declined it. On the 12th of August, management approves and sends an accident report to PERMs. Two days later, PERMS received a report establishing the claim, and as of this date, PERMS has never has never received any damage claim from United Rentals, so there was no insurance made for this piece of equipment.
“On the 25th of August, PUD makes payment for the rental of $1,147.64 to UR That’s for the rental of the equipment. Last meeting it was explained that that was for an insurance deductible.
“Now, United Rentals establishes files for damages, RISK No. 03L1722, that report will tell us what the cost for the damages were. This was prepared by United Rentals to tell the PUD what the damages on the equipment were. I asked for this from the Freedom of Information Act, and I received a response that there was no such file that exists. My expectation here is that the amount of the damage done to this man-lift was in the tens of thousands of dollars, and it’s been concealed. There’s a cover-up. Because a PUD employee was using this equipment personally and that it was damaged, a cover-up has resulted, and it continues to this day. Because of false information that we’ve heard come from Doug in the last two meetings.
“And, if you look at the documentation that I’ve given you, that backs up the fact that there were false statements made about this equipment. I would ask the commissioners, could you please order the release of that information? Here’s the deal, somebody had to pay United Rentals forty-some-odd thousand dollars for the damage done to that piece of equipment. It was totaled. That had to come from someplace. And it was totaled while it was being used on a personal project and not while the PUD was using it. It was rented in the first place, not for the use by PUD, but for the use of a private individual in this organization. You’ve got to take some of the facts that you’ve heard and go; something does smell not quite right here. They must have something here. This equipment was returned from Seaside, Oregon for a job in Oysterville, but it was delivered in Raymond? Why? Why would that be? If that man-lift was to be used at the Oysterville project at the time, why was another one never rented and used. I can answer that for you. Because it was never intended to be use for Oysterville. It was always intended for personal use, and that’s abuse! My request is that you please release that RISK management report.
The next PUD meeting is Tuesday, June 4 at 1 p.m.
Editor’s Note: If you know of anything illegal taking place at the PUD or any other government office in Pacific County, contact the editor at 942-3466, ext. 231, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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