Lawsuit filed in Island County Superior Court- Ken and Kelly Emerson VS Island County

After years of negotiations, broken promises and many of thousands of dollars spent on the wetlands issue over the Emerson’s Camano Island property and the lack of wetlands the end of all this is nearing a conclusion.

A lawsuit was filed with Island County Superior court asking for damages, breach of contract among other things and this multiyear battle may finally be coming to a conclusion. We had thought a conclusion was almost ment with the agreement that county had made with the Emerson then subsequently broken shows that there is no way for the Emerson’s to negotiate with a county that has no intent of following through with agreements it made so it was a losing battle for the Emerson’s. The 4 Wetland Specialists hired by the Emerson’s were all wrong according to the county planning department and there was no way for this to be resolved without filing a lawsuit forcing the county to follow its own agreement, rules and regulations that they themselves wrote.

This should be a warning for anyone planning on building in Island County, rules, regulations and agreements mean nothing to our planning department. You can spend thousands and thousands of dollars attempting to follow county code and agreements with the planning department and also be harassed by everyone up to and including the county commissioners in your battle to settle a very simple problem.

The lack of the county to honor its last agreement with the Emerson’s is now up to the court system. Even though I live and pay taxes here and any settlement comes indirectly from my pocket I hope the settlement is a large one. There is no way you can replace the years of aggravation that this battle has cost the Emerson’s and the disruptions this issue has cost them and Commissioner Emerson in this battle that never seems to end.

Text of lawsuit Ken And Kelly Emerson VS Island County




  1. I wonder why Whidbey News Times/Sound Publishing has not published, or investigated the suit filed by Kenneth Emerson and Kelly Emerson’s attorney on November 4, 2013, against Island County for breach of Contract?

    Did Sound Publishing not know of this, or did the Commissioners want their newspapers to not make it public before election day OR is there a libel concern in play?

    I am certain the citizens of Island County would be very interested in at least the information on pages 6-14 (complaints 1-8) of this filing; i.e.,
    County’s default on contract with Kenneth and Kelly Emerson, a judgment against County in amount to be proven at trial, an injunctive or writ of mandamus…attorney’s fees and cost, such further relief as court deems just and equitable, etc, etc, etc

    Also, the attachments in this 94 page legal filing against Island County contain information that Island County taxpayers would be interested in reviewing.

    Those attachments document how elected Island County officials and employees intentionally caused this litigation and the related spending of our tax payer dollars..

    1. Don’t be surprised that this is settled out of court (Greg Banks doesn’t like lawsuits especially ones that he cannot win.) Reading the documents suggests the county is scared of legal action ie the appeals before the Hearings examiner and BICC yet it also looks like the county opened the door for litigation under the default clause by sitting on their hands. Naturally there is probably more to it that resides outside of public view.

    2. Seeing how the WNT is part and parcel of the slanderous comments and behavior towards the Emerson’s I would think that they would be hiding beneath the closest bush hoping that they are not include in this. Without the WNT advertising and parroting Helen, Angie and Jill there would be no damages involved. With their consistent negative reporting of the party line I would think they have been advised by their lawyers to stay as far away from this is possible. Remember, without their false reporting on this there was nothing…and there never was…

    3. Today, 9 days after Emersons’ attorney filed the suit, WNT finally reported their version of the filing as “Front Page” news

      Now we’ll see the usual “Get Emerson” spin doctors at work trying to prove it is a frivolous case in the Court of Public Opinion

      Who’ll be first?… WEANie, Nels H. Bob P. Colburn, ex Commissioner Homalone. etc, etc
      Sit back and watch the fun begin

        1. It’s not on line yet… usually takes a couple days (late Thurs or Fri?) b/4 it gets on their web page then all the democrats start playing “Get Emerson” again

    4. Wonder what the value of Emersons’ properties that they still control today is vs prior to the Wetlands Political games started by DEAN. Homola, Price-Johnson and Bobby Pederson et el ???

      Constructive taking, a term used in property law to refer to actions that amount to depriving an owner of the use and enjoyment of his/her property.
      The legal term “takings” refers to the physical acquisition of private property by governmental bodies.
      It also applies when government regulation removes all economically viable use of private property in what the courts describe as a “regulatory” or “constructive” taking.
      The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that private property cannot be taken for public use unless there is just compensation.
      WNT should have read the Emerson’s attorney’s legal filing before they published their biased “get Kelly” words ? $$,$$$,$$$.$$?

  2. Island County DemonRats Helen Price Johnson, Angie Homola, and John Dean along with unelected county bureaucrats Bob Pederson, Keith Higman, and Dave Wechner in conjunction with the aid of environmental whackos Steve Erickson and Marianne Edain are all to blame for this major property rights violation.

  3. Now the question of which liberal judge in Island County Superior Court is going to get this case, Alan R. Hancock or Vickie I. Churchill?

    1. KEN. “…is settled out of court (Greg Banks doesn’t like lawsuits especially ones that he cannot win.)”
      I doubt Island County Courts will be involved. It will be resolved in a court jurisdiction that has nothing to do nor conflict of interest with Island County who is named as defendant??

      1. I suspect they are looking for a change of venue as we type.

        Any court that reads the agreement that the county themselves wrote and then promptly broke will undoubtedly not look too kindly on Island County especially seeing how they have not one leg to stand on.

        This has been a travesty of justice aided and abetted by our local newspaper who would not write a good article about commissioner Emerson no matter what the cause or reason.

  4. Hopefully the Emersons have a bare knuckles litigator to push Island County back where they belong. For all of our sake really.

    1. Kelly has done everything she has done for us. She has excluded herself in anything to do with anything to help her own case by not using the position she holds to try and make changes that would help her position in this.

      This is why we need more politicians like Kelly Emerson not less. After the way Kelly Emerson has been treated by her fellow commissioners and the press I do not think we will ever see this happen, people like Kelly Emerson are too good to put up with the kind of BS she has to put up with to ever consider running for office. That is why we now have self serving me first politician like Jill Johnson…

  5. What a dirty tactic: Island County bureaucrats delay and deny by continually asking additional questions. They will never be satisfied.

    “However, in a October conversation, Kasting said that the county received the Emerson’s wetlands report, responded with additional questions and that the Emersons refused to respond.”

    The following is from the Settlement Agreement (EXHIBIT A, Page 5)

    “7.2 Remedies. In the event of a party’s default, then after giving notice and an opportunity to cure pursuant to Section 7.1 above, the non-Defaulting party shall have the right to exercise any or all rights and remedies available to it in law or equity including, without limitation, a suit for damages, the initiation of proceedings for specific performance, and/or an injunction to compel the Defaulting party to observe or perform it covenants and obligations hereunder.”

    This settlement agreement was written by Island County. Apparently these additional questions were of no import other than to continue the delay and deny strategy which has been in play for over three years. IF those questions were so important then why didn’t Island County do anything?

    1. What gets me is Whidbey News Times is quoting old news from an attorney who is NO LONGER on the case!

      “Justin Kasting, a Snohomish County civil attorney who is handling the case due to conflict of interest, could not be reached Tuesday for comment on the Emerson’s lawsuit.” WNT

      Justin Kasting is NO LONGER assigned to the case. Perhaps that’s why he could not be reached.

      What WNT failed to report is that these “additional” questions WERE answered!

      What WNT also failed to report was that these additional questions were posed only AFTER Emerson’s attorney notified Island County that Island County was in DEFAULT!

      Whidbey News Times sure does a lousy job reporting pertinent facts, and this latest article continues to bash the Emersons and make them out to be the bad guys.

      Congratulations Keven R. Graves on another journalistic new low. Even your headline is disgustingly pathetic.

      Notice not one word in the article was uttered about the despicable deeds of Island County.

      1. I am getting the impression that WNT and County’s gurus don’t feel the settlement agreement reached in June, was a legally binding contract with stated performance requirements by all partied to be completed on a specific date. Emersons performed ALL contracted requirements. County DID NOT perform as contractually required. That’s default by County from my Business Law 101 book dated in June 1952 and it’s still the law

    2. The “agreement” didn’t have a provision for casual questioning of our experts. The “agreement ” also didn’t have a provision allowing for harrasment or cajoling our experts, but that did happen! BTW, we did answer ALL their questions and then some. But they seemed to forget that this was a settlement agreement that THEY drafted and chose to ignore.

    3. I will check with our attorney to see if it is ok to publish the questions that the county asked along with our experts answers to those questions. it is absolutely wrong to state that we didn’t perform our contractual obligations to the fullest. I wonder who actually stated those libelous remarks, if anyone?

      1. That would be great! According to the local fish wrapper, “However, in a October conversation, Kasting said that the county received the Emerson’s wetlands report, responded with additional questions and that the Emersons refused to respond.”

        So WNT is claiming Kasting made those libelous remarks.

        1. The WNT will repeat anything that they hear as long as it is detrimental to the Emerson’s’.

          It is amazing that we have a local paper with such a clear cut agenda to destroy someone…

          1. Camano Kelly • Camano Island, Washington
            Keven R. Graves I said “astounding.”
            Right Cliff, WNT etc have no interest in facts; just print whatever their lib, “get Kelly” readers want them to say
            Following are quotes from Sound Publishings local publisher guru, Graves. indicating his journalism standards and style of management

            ” Keven R. Graves • Top Commenter
            Note – The quote marks indicate a direct quote … The “sic” indicates we are aware it is incorrect, however, we are not changing what the source said.
            Sic: Used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child’s interest and “enrich his [ sic ] life.”

            “Keven R. Graves • Top Commenter
            John Mott – Actually, both the SWR editor and I independently asked the reporter if this, in fact, is what Emerson said, and she maintains it is. As for your “liberal media” comment, I’m kind of sick of hearing that “taunt.” It’s just a convenient — and, frankly, lazy — means of tarring and feathering the newspaper because you don’t like what you read. Try some new material to get your point across.”

  6. I just posted this to the WNT in response to Ben Thomas Principle at Ben Thomas Associates comment. It will probably be deleted tomorrow for the link to IP but my thoughts anyway

    Maybe you should do some research before you voice your conclusions. There are Still NO WETLANDS. WNT has not covered this very well and does not like links that leave this site.
    Open another tab or browser window.
    Copy and paste the below and remove the “DELETE” http://DELETEwww.islandpolitics.DELETEorg/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/emerson1.pdf

    Read the court filing and settlement agreement yourself, you will probably find this is all local political BS, and the county is and has been at fault in the entire time. Yes Ken bought lumber and started enclosing and existing patio on Saturday and filed his permit on Monday, (OK that cost $5K). It should never escalated beyond that.
    The county used critical areas and wetlands to make Kelly look bad for the election, when that back fired and they have been covering their tracks ever since. Four wetland reports and still no wetland. Island County settles the original suite and then defaults on the agreement the county wrote. Still no building permit, it should never cost this much or take this much effort. I don’t blame the Emersons “on principal” for standing up to Island County for abusing the “county permit process” to make political gains for other commissioners.

    This second suit is required, as stipulated in the 06/28/2013 settlement agreement, the County wrote, and is now defaulted on. Read the filing yourself.

    Let see if WNT will correct this story or actually read the complaint.

    John Brooks

    1. Your comment got deleted and that is no surprise. WNT does not want truth. Instead they pander to dipshits, dunderheads, and democrats like:

      Ben Thomas · Principle at Ben Thomas Associates

      “And you wonder why we require permits for construction on on near wetlands? The permit program exists because of people like Commissioner Emerson who live in a bygone time when people did whatever they wanted regardless of the impact to neighbors or the environment. Assuming this is not the last lawsuit against the County by Ms. Emerson for not getting her way, I’m curious what this Commissioner will cost us in frivolous lawsuits.”

      Thanks Ben for being the first dumbshit to win the DDD award.

  7. Whichever superior court is assigned this case, the Emersons will receive more justice than they ever received from Island County’s planning department, two boards of county commissioners, or in Judge Hancock’s courtroom. Change of venue will also result in the the case being reported beyond the WNT, and provide opportunity to vindicate the wetland experts whose reports were ignored based upon opinions of Whidbey Island’s wetland witch doctor. Let’s hope that Emersons’ attorney is a legal pit bull, and his grilling of John, Angie, Helen, Jill, Bob and Elaine on the stand will produce evidence leading to charges for their actions including the resignation “gift” Bob received, courtesy of Island County tax payers. Blame for the costs Island County incurs in this matter rightfully belongs on the shoulders of the Coupeville Six, not Ken and Kelly Emerson.

  8. The WNT really did a hatchet job on Kelly in today’s edition. Graves, in his publisher’s “Opinion” presents his case for “Time for Emerson to put an end to fighting,lawsuits over permit”. His true colors finally are shown
    Also, the WNT front page headline is “Emerson absences ‘strain’ commission”

    The hate Kelly letters to Editor pile more on from …
    …Allison Warner, Ann Casey, Howard Garrett, GayLynn Brighton, Barbara Moran, Mike McVay, Gary Piazzon, Jane Seymour and last…
    … Angie Homola with her ramblings of how great she was/is and all her great accomplishments are being destroyed

    If I were Kelly I’d not tolerate this; I’d resign
    No one deserves needs this

    If Kelly were to resign, how do we replace her with a Conservative from District 3 who will take up the fight against those odds that Kelly has endured the past 2+ YEARS; who might that be?
    We don’t need nor should we allow her replacement to be another RINO or a Libertarian or a weak “can’t we all be friends” type
    Any thoughts?

    1. The WNT is again making news not reporting on it. I would rather concentrate on removing the WNT from the Islands than Kelly Emerson.

      The WNT is one on the most libelous papers I have ever read, they have never reported the correct story on the Emersons. I asked Ken Emerson the other day if the WNT had ever contacted him for a quote and with a laugh and chuckle stated “not once”. “Ever”.

      Now that is our local reporting for you… quote everyone else but the source…

    2. We have our work cut out for all re this crap.
      Rufus Rose responded to my WNT’s frustration with the following:

      “The Republican Party would nominate three candidates for Jill Johnson and Helen Price-Johnson to select from to fill the vacancy. HPJ could, as has happened before, refuse to accept any of the nominees. That would pass the responsibility to the Governor to select from the three nominees.
      That would enable the Governor to select the least likely to be elected in the required election in the fall of 2014, and likely hand the Democrat Party candidate a much easier chance of election.
      I think it is a wiser course to identify what the voters agree about what they want in Government and then to recite the relevant facts over, and over, without shouting. No one listens when they are being yelled at, especially voters.
      Kelly’s Lawsuit(s) have been justified in light of the facts. Those facts need to be publicized repeatedly. HPJ and The AH essentially ignored and blocked KE for two years. That did result in some anger in KE, but she was justified because she was elected and was effectively prevented from representing those who voted for her.The local Media need to hear from Kelly supporters.”

      I agree with Rufus and with his advice I hope enough people prove to Kelly we want and need her to correct the County political decision mess we have today
      I hope many others read the garbage in thus issue WNT and their reaction is betterthan mine was initially.
      I hope it makes them so mad it motivates them to rally behind Kelly and bring to an end to these problems that Johnson & Johnson and their backers have created
      Thanks Kelly, You deserve better and we must make sure that happens!

  9. Yes, I really should have had my father schedule his 6-way bypass surgery a little better.

    How dare he distract me from casting my votes of opposition to the Progressive Majority.

  10. I hope that Kelly will not resign because doing would be out of character. I’m happy she and Ken filed the current legal complaint. Keven Graves is a journalistic slut trying to look important, trying to prematurely and illegally preclude the court’s decree in Island County’s public perception. A resignation now, would give Graves credence. He might like to think that he is a king maker, but he is not. Those with WNT subscriptions, cancel then immediately, don’t even semi-support this guy by letting your subscription run out.

    Kelly has been the voice of all those who elected her, and a voice for a rational county government. She has earned our support and we need to support her against the petty, frivolous attacks and call WNT journalism for what it is.

    1. Mr. Graves does not report the news…he makes the news and does so at others expense.

      This is not reporting and why the WNT is not a newspaper. It is a political device for the use of the “approved” politicians on the island.

      I am sure V. A. Kozhevnikov would be proud…

  11. Immediate cancellation of subscriptions is a single positive personal action which lowers the rates that publications can charge their advertisers in addition to the lost subscription revenue.

    Watch for the Johnsonites, Price-Johnsonites and Homolaites to begin a petition drive to recall Kelly Emerson if she doesn’t comply with Keven Graves’ “advice”.

  12. Would have been a lot easier to just have applied for a permit in the first place, especially people in the trades like the Emerson’s can’t be surprised, this is not Texas. Now the only winner is the lawyers.

    1. Dave,
      The permit was applied and paid for 3 days before the county got the complaint (old news). This whole issue is about the county fabricating the existence of a wetland where none exists and by their own documentation, none ever existed. It is all about malice , punishment and breach of contract. For nothing but politics and covering tracks.

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