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Piper Vindicated

Posted on 31st July 2014 at 09:06

Bill Ammons, Chuck Wallace and Doug Irvine are on the hook for about $30,000 in legal fees that Cowlitz PUD Commissioner Ned Piper has accrued while fighting the recall petition that was filed by the three men. At yesterday’s hearing in Cowlitz County Superior Court, Judge Stephen Warning ruled in favor of Piper on virtually every count; he even went so far to state in open court that the censure resolution that was used to formulate the recall petition was a sham. Warning rejected a motion from attorneys for the PUD, who asked that current PUD General Counsel Paul Brachvogel’s name be stricken from Piper’s complaint. They claim that there’s no proof of Brachvogel’s involvement. Warning rejected that motion. Later in the hearing, he didn’t name names, but he did say that it was quite clear that Ammons, Wallace and Irvine had assistance from someone inside the PUD in the creation and revision of the petition. Warning flatly stated that Ammons lied during his deposition; Wallace and Irvine both stated that Ammons bragged about having connections inside the PUD, something that Ammons denied in his deposition. Warning also said that Ammons either lied or withheld information from the other two petitioners about his “connections.” In the end, Warning ruled that the three men are responsible for Piper’s legal fees in the case, but the attorney for the three, Tim South, says that they will immediately appeal the ruling to the Washington Supreme Court. A hearing to finalize details of the judgment is planned for 2 pm on Wednesday, August 20th.