Retaliation by the Oregon State Bar
Today, I was notified by email — by Kateri Walsh, spokesperson for the Oregon State Bar — that “each of [my] eighteen¹ outstanding public records requests is likely to exceed $200.” [emphasis added]
For those bad at math, that would be upwards of $3,600 for the complete OSB disciplinary files of attorneys Megan M. Perry, Erik J.D. Moeller, and James D. Van Ness; internal communications regarding the OSB’s handling of those matters; the OSB’s communications with the media regarding Perry; all communications with the firm of Holland & Knight regarding Perry; and all internal communications regarding a tip that the OSB’s General Counsel’s office received regarding the alleged destruction of records by Perry and Moeller. Walsh “helpfully” suggested that I try to narrow my requests to keep the cost down.
Or… the OSB could simply charge me the real price for each of these requests, instead of the special “stop writing articles about us, ****” retaliation price.
You see, Walsh continues to fail to stay up to speed with the situation, or even get educated on everything that’s transipred before she was trotted out to deal with me.
According to my meticulously kept filing system of requests, spreadsheet of actions taken and needing to be taken, and organized folder of results, I can easily see that, for four of the earliest requests, I had already been quoted “estimates” of $42.50, $134.04, $18.50, and $80.49.
Further, those strangely precise “estimates” sound a lot like “final costs.”
In fact, that $80.49 quote literally sounds like the OSB wasn’t moving enough inventory at $90.50 and slashed their prices. The S stands for SAVINGS.
So, just to quickly do some math here, for these four public records requests, before I started writing mean mean accurate articles about their lying and failing, they were going to charge me $276.47.
But the price went up $523.47 once I started shining a light on their own misconduct.
To put it mildly, the optics are very bad and I kept all my receipts.
But wait, there’s more
Walsh also sad face informed me that “General Counsel’s office has denied your request for a waiver of those fees.”
One could say they refuse to waive the fees because they know that the requests are feeding these articles, and that I’m just some “rabblerouser” in New Jersey of all places, who is “overzealous” and daring to write a book in my spare time — about Oregon’s rampant attorney misconduct and disciplinary problems — while also managing a full time job, a kid, a marriage, and a custody case that won’t die because of people exactly like all of those people named above.
But in reality, it’s because the OSB hopes that our family just bleeds out financially and simply cannot sustain the costs of confronting and exposing such abhorrent behavior on the part of the bar’s licensees and the bar themselves.
It is worth noting that the General Counsel’s office is the subject of my most recent request, sent Monday. Their refusal to waive the fees — and instead demonstrably overcharge me — shows that they are very distressed by my request, and are retaliating in a way that they’ve certainly done before, to other families and victims.
According to ORS 192.324(5), the OSB could simply give me what I’m asking for free or at a reduced rate if it’s determined that “making the record available primarily benefits the general public.”
Well, you can go back and read my last article to find out what the Oregon State Bar feels about the “general public.”
¹ By my count there are only twelve outstanding, not eighteen.