News

Licensing office dispute continues

by AMANDA WINTERS
Sequim Gazette

Karen Shewbert is fighting to keep Sequim Vehicle/Vessel Licensing open despite Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand’s insistence it be shut down due to a contract dispute.

 

Shewbert, a sub-agent under contract with Clallam County, was up for a 10-year contract renewal next month but almost had to close her office May 11 after Rosand terminated the contract.

 

In Rosand’s April 30 notice of termination, she wrote Shewbert repeatedly failed to provide her with requested financial records.

 

“Notwithstanding my request, you still have not provided me with the requested financial records,” Rosand wrote.

 

In a news release, Rosand said she spent significant time and energy trying to find a solution that would prevent her from having to terminate Shewbert’s contract.

 

Shewbert is appealing the termination and on May 10 was granted a temporary restraining order, which will allow her to keep her office open until at least today, May 16.

Temporary order

In a Clallam County Superior Court hearing May 10, Commissioner Pro Tem William G. Knebes granted the temporary order.  Shewbert’s attorney, Craig Miller, will argue for a preliminary injunction May 16 to allow SVVL to operate as usual pending the appeal of the contract termination.

 

Representing Clallam County and Rosand, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols said the action is nothing more than a “flagrant attempt” to prevent Rosand from performing her duties.

 

Nichols also pointed to a clause in Shewbert’s contract that states termination or suspension of the contract may not be stayed during a pending appeal.

Financial records

Nichols said while they have no reason to believe money is being mismanaged under Shewbert, the audits of Shewbert’s office were a required contractual obligation under the county’s contract with the state Department of Licensing.

“To this date we haven’t received the financial records Rosand requested, which she needs to fulfil her duties,” he said.

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

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