Friday, September 20, 2019

Mailing List Sign-up

* indicates required

Oakmont News, Opinion & More

Amended Complaint Filed in Heyman Lawsuit against OVA

On March 22, 2019, a 118 page First Amended Complaint was filed with the Sonoma County Superior Court adding further allegations to the original complaint filed November 30, 2018.  See Oakmont Observer story on original complaint here: https://oakmontobserver.com/ex-director-ken-heyman-files-lawsuit-against-ova/

The First Amended Complaint includes direct quotes from emails, and identifies several Agents of the Oakmont Village Association (OVA.) The remaining 25 unnamed Defendants (“Does”) were not identified.

The General Allegations on pages 4-27 of the First Amended Complaint are presented in chronological order.    The Oakmont Observer has excerpted some of the multiple allegations below. We have also italicized quotes embedded within the allegations for clarity in reading.

The First Amended Complaint is a public Sonoma County Superior Court document and can be read in its entirety HERE.

EXCERPTS FROM FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT:

Pickleball

“On February 17, 2017, an OVA resident wrote an email to Turner asking if there is any way to give a contractor ‘a carrot’ to work faster on the pickle ball project before April 1 ‘in case our people lose the election.’ Turner’s response revealed her secret network and surreptitious attempt to influence OVA decision making: ‘There is, and we are on it. I am reluctant to discuss it with you because it simply cannot get repeated to anyone. Secrets can’t be kept in Oakmont for some reason.’”

“On March 31, 2017 in ‘Cassie’s EBlast’ to the entire community she wrote, ‘Weather permitting, construction is starting on the sports court sometime next week.’

“On April 3, 2017, one day before the 2017 Board election results were counted and announced, per the Board’s instructions, Siri Construction began work on the new pickle ball complex, bulldozing the area that had been a contentious issue in Oakmont for three years. The weather forecast predicted over 2” of rain that week and records show it was almost 3”.”

“On April 4, 2017, Heyman, Carolyn Bettencourt, Greg Goodwin, and Frank Batchelor won Board seats. 2016 Board member Ellen Leznik was elected President of the 2017 Board; Heyman was elected VP. Defendant Andrea Altman aka Andie Altman (“Altman”) and Gloria Young remained on the Board for their second year. Leznik and Heyman asked Siri Construction to halt construction grading for the pickle ball complex until further notice.”

“On April 8, 2017, certain OVA Agents and Members discussed via email how to prove a breach of contract against OVA; discuss ‘Cassie’s hostile working environment;’ influence OVA vendors to demand payment from the OVA for stopping work and to demand payment upfront before starting work; suggest OVA vendors become litigious against OVA, and told vendors that ‘you should be cautious in working with this current Board.’ OVA Construction Committee member Iris Harrell writes, ‘They [the 2017 Board] are not going to be able to make a lot happen for lots of reasons.‘ Harrell forwards the entire email chain to Turner writing, ‘FYI.’ Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Turner colluded with certain OVA agents to undermine Heyman’s authority and sabotage the Board’s work.”

Turner’s Contract

“On September 22, 2016, Turner and Altman signed Turner’s ‘poison pill’ employment contract for the OVA Manager position against the advice of OVA counsel.”

“On September 23, 2016, Turner warned Altman that Sue Millar was behind on mounting a campaign for the upcoming Board election. Plaintiff is informed and believes Turner sought to influence the election to ensure continuity of the status quo, continued employment, and protect her ‘poison pill’ contract, which the Board not yet fully executed.”

“On September 26, 2016 OVA Board VP Frank Batchelor signed Turner’s ‘poison pill’ Management contract.”

“On December 9, 2016, Turner sent an email revealing ‘I just signed a 3 year contract but the current Board knows I have no intention of staying here that long. The election in April will tell the story. . . If they get elected, I will give my notice the same day.’”

“In January or February 2017, then OVA attorney, Malcolm Manwell encountered Turner at SEA-TAC airport. Turner had been job and house hunting in Washington. She told Manwell she hated Oakmont and was going to resign on her 65th birthday in June 2017 as soon as she had Medicare.”

2017 Election & Board of Directors 

“On December 12, 2016, Turner notified an OVA resident she was retiring June of 2017. In the email exchange (subject ‘RE: In case you haven’t read on NextDoor’), Turner states that ‘This will be the biggest f-ing deal on the planet’ after learning that Heyman and Greg Goodman (sic) would be running for the BOD.’ Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Turner sought to keep Heyman off the OVA Board.”

 “On April 3, 2017, one day before the 2017 Board election results were counted and announced, OVA Agent Jim Brewer, Communications Committee and Editorial Team member wrote to Turner and OVA Agents and fellow Editorial Team members Marty Thompson and Jackie Ryan, ‘We should find out the procedure for challenging an election…Maybe even before the new one is seated.’  Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Turner and these and other OVA agents sought to remove Heyman from the Board so as to further their own agenda, and that they intended to disrupt and cast doubt on the election process, results, and incoming Board.”

“Also on April 4, 2017, certain OVA Agents, Board members, and residents discussed that ‘we should put up resistance’ and ‘complain about how things are being done.’ OVA Agent and President of the Communications Committee, Jackie Ryan wrote, ‘All well said, and work all mapped out.‘ Plaintiff is informed and believes that Turner, the OVA Manager, along with certain OVA agents, Board members, and residents, were actively planning and conspiring against the newly elected Board, including Heyman.” 

 “On April 21, 2017, Turner sent an email to OVA agents in response to an email thread stating ‘Hello to you. Please don’t send me these emails at my work address. Thanks.‘  

“On June 19, 2017, the advice of counsel, the 2017 Board hired Wilmore & Associates to investigate the inception and execution of Turner’s October 28, 2016 ‘Management Agreement’ employment contract with OVA and interview the 2016 Board members. Altman refused to be interviewed.“

“According to Wilmore & Associates’ investigative report dated June 19, 2017, only Frank Batchelor says he read Scott Lewis’s email dated March 23, 2016, and states he read it to the entire 2016 Board during Executive Session on March 29, 2016. None of the 2016 Board members could recall attorney Scott Lewis’s March 23, 2016 email regarding Turner’s contract or Lewis’ comments on Turner’s draft contract.”

 “On July 7, 2017, OVA Agent Jackie Ryan wrote to Turner, ‘I don’t want policy tied to the Communications Committee and consequently its members.’ Turner responded, ‘I am deleting all these emails!’ Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that the Communications Committee was strategizing and planning on publishing information that would harm OVA and the 2017 Board, and were plotting with Turner who believed deleting her emails would protect her from anyone discovering the malfeasance.”

“On July 14, 2017, the Editorial Team of the Oakmont News used the internal OVAhouse organs to publicize Turner’s disgruntled allegations concerning the 2017 Board and her resignation as OVA’s Manager. Later that day, for reasons unknown, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat published a story of Turner’s resignation as OVA’s Manager citing ‘difficulties’ with the new Board. Turner is the only person quoted in the story.

“Between July 18-21, Heyman, consistent with OVA’s written policy, exercised his fiduciary duty (duty of loyalty) to the OVA, by advising the Editorial Team and Communication’s Committee (“CC”) to stop any further publications regarding OVA personnel or Turner as it is a destructive act against the OVA.”

 “On July 21, 2017 at 10:11am, Turner emailed the Board stating that her email had been ‘hacked.’ Investigation by an outside forensic consultant revealed that Turner’s emails were manually deleted and indicated that her accusations regarding being hacked were a deliberate attempt to harm Heyman based on his professional career.  Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Turner deleted her emails in an attempt to cover her tracks and protect others who colluded with her against Plaintiff and others.”

“July 24, 2017, was Turner’s last day in OVA office.”

“On July 25, 2017, Ellen Leznik resigned from the OVA Board in an effort to restore peace to the community after ‘a very loud group’ had made it impossible for her to continue her work. Heyman was elected OVA President.”

“On July 25, 2017, Turner received an email from an OVA resident telling her ‘Looks like “we the people” got rid of [Leznik.] Working on Ken next.’”

“On July 27, 2017, in response to Turner’s allegation that she had been ‘hacked,’ OVA hired Digital Mountain to conduct a security audit of Turner’s computer to determine whether, in fact, any security breach or hacking occurred.”

Turner’s Claim

“On July 28, 2017, Turner’s attorney sent a Demand Letter to OVA seeking $300,000 in damages and alleging she was subjected to ‘intolerable mistreatment’ by the 2017 Board. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Turner made this false allegation as part of her scheme to defraud the OVA.” 

“Digital Mountain’s August 3, 2017, audit report states ‘KLH was able to find emails deleted within the installed Microsoft Outlook client with the “Recover Deleted” items folder; however, TURNER opted to not recover the deleted email.‘ According to KLH employees, TURNER explained that she was ‘going to be fired that day anyway,’ so recovery would not be necessary. Turner and KLH (OVA’s IT support) were the only entities logged onto her computer on July 21, 2017, meaning it was impossible for Heyman to ‘hack’ or delete her emails as Turner suggested.”

  “On August 23, 2017 OVA Board President Gloria Young shared with Heyman OVA attorney Malcolm Manwell’s email to Young stating, ‘There are three facts in this that may be of use to [OVA’s] defense. 1. Cassie Turner was going to quit when she turned 65 this June regardless. 2. As late as April 2017 she announced to an Executive Committee and to the OVA membership that nothing had ripened to a “harassment.” 3. She is “in” up to her gills with attorney Gottlieb in the “cooked” employment contract that Andie Altman (and probably Frank pushed  by the Board). If anything ties an association manager (with fiduciary ties to her principal) to the wrongful conduct of sneaking that contract on the Board in the Fall of 2016 without disclosing the contrary opinions of INDEPENDENT counsel (I believe Gottlieb was Cassie’s attorney all along), then that fact might help……But make no mistake here. In January or February of this year (I can’t remember the exact flight) Cassie Turner was up in Washington State looking for a new job and a residence. She accidentally chose one of my flights thru Seattle on my Spokane to Santa Rosa trips. She was going to quit, and had so announced that fact to Martin and I sometime in the Fall of 2016. Cassie resigned, not because she was harassed out, but because she was ready to resign from being the City manager of a 4000 population city as soon as she had medical insurance coverage in June of 2017 [when she turned 65.]’”

“In November 2017, the OVA’s insurance counsel Mark Posner asked Heyman, along with other Board members President Gloria Young and Director Carolyn Bettencourt, to research Turner’s deleted emails for evidence of her collusion regarding her contract.”

“In December 2017, to assist in defending OVA, Heyman began spending countless hours reviewing Turner’s deleted emails and slowly discovers that while serving as the OVA Manager, Turner had abused her position by colluding with others to harass Plaintiff, tell falsehoods and disparage Heyman and Patterson to other Association members, agents, and outside third party vendors without their knowledge.”

 “On February 11, 2018, Heyman responded to Liberty Insurance’s counsel Allison Ross’s questions regarding Turner’s claim against OVA. Turner had not responded to repeated efforts to contact her, including efforts by her own attorney.”

“Between April 7-27, 2018, Heyman contacted OVA President Spanier, VP Kendrick, and OVA manager Hubred in an effort to schedule a meeting so Heyman could deliver all the evidence for OVA to successfully defend itself against Turner’s intolerable mistreatment claim. Heyman requested OVA counsel be present to ensure proper handling of the conveyance  of this evidentiary documentation, but Spanier did not approve this request. On April 27, 2018, in a meeting at the OVA office, Heyman met with Spanier and VP Kendrick. Heyman explained the issues of Turner’s claim and gave them a drive with all of Turner’s deleted emails explaining their significance to OVA’s defense.”

Spread the word(s):

Share this page:

1 Comment

  1. James on April 16, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Very interesting to see details that many of us knew to be the case but did not have full proof when it was happening. I sensed all along that Cassie had an agenda, bias, and collusion within the OVA Board, Oakmont News and 3rd party entities. Some of this can naturally happen when working for an organization like this, but the high level of deceit she exhibited, along with the accusations she made of others, shows a lack of integrity and care for many in the community.

    What is also key is the indictment of outliers in all that happened, such as the CC being fully on one side of the issue and looking for ways to have influence.

    “Jim Brewer, Communications Committee and Editorial Team member wrote to Turner and OVA Agents and fellow Editorial Team members Marty Thompson and Jackie Ryan, ‘We should find out the procedure for challenging an election…Maybe even before the new one is seated.’ “

    And who are running the CC now?

Leave a Comment




IMG_9427.JPG

Never miss an article

Sign-up for The Oakmont Observer email list to keep up to date.