Settlement Proposal Details Emerge in Schulze v. COBI Lawsuit

Details on the Schulze v. COBI (City of Bainbridge Island) lawsuit originally filed back on September 4, 2019 have emerged and you may be shocked to find out what we did.

In a letterSchulze v City of Bainbridge Island PRA Lawsuit Settlement Letter dated March 5, 2020 from Schulze attorney Nicholas Power, Lisa Schulze is offering a settlement proposal that could cost the City less than 10% (ten percent) of what was paid out in the last COBI PRA lawsuit against Paulson. The Paulson settlement ended up being approximately $487,000 and that does not account for the City's own legal fees.

In addition to $40,000, Ms. Schulze is proposing the City of Bainbridge Island adopt an ordinance that would "make it unlawful for Council member to initiate or respond to correspondence except using channels authorized by the City." The letter goes on to detail the terms of the agreement:

"Were the City to adopt such an ordinance within 90 days,my client would be willing to voluntarily dismiss her lawsuit provided that she is paid an amount of $40,000 that includes all penalties fees and costs."

Lisa Schulze is the wife of past City Manager for the City of Bainbridge Island, Doug Schulze. Doug left the Bainbridge Island position after six years for Banning, California.

We don't want to make any assumptions but it looks as if Ms. Schulze is extending the City of Bainbridge Island a hometown discount because the $40,000 includes penalty fees and costs. In the original lawsuit, Schulze had asked COBI to pay a penalty of up to $100 a day, per record, for every day the records were not furnished. If the proof is real, it could be saving the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the proposal letter, her attorney makes the claim that Lisa does indeed have the proof she needs to win the case against the City of Bainbridge Island.

"Ms. Schulze is in possession of responsive records – namely text messages to and from Ron Peltier – that were responsive but not provided and in his possession at the time of her request."

We were able to catch up with Lisa Schulze this morning and she provided the following comment.

"Ron Peltier ran on transparency. Then, his first decision as a City Council member was to refuse a city phone. Despite the councils inaction, the Ethics board, the media and the Community saw Ron Peltier for who he is. My hope is that this suit will bring honesty, integrity and good governance to the City of Bainbridge Island. I chose not to ask for a settlement that is greater than covering our costs. The City paid a large settlement to Paulsen and Fortner and rightfully so. Unfortunately it left a loop hole for dishonest politicians.

Please support this settlement and stop the corruption in Bainbridge Island. And please, remember all the ethics complaints against RP if he ever even considers running again. He is a corrupt bully and has no place in government at any level.

Doug and I love the Island. We gave our hearts to the Community. I am not asking the Community for money (other than our costs) but I am asking for your support."

The settlement proposal letters ends with this:

"I hope that the City would appreciate this civic minded low cost settlement and be in communication with my office on how we may wrap this matter up."

We will keep you updated on this story as more is decided on and made clear.