Support Randy Gaylord’s re-election | Letters

I am compelled to write this letter to share my support for Randy Gaylord’s re-election.

Many have written about a records lawsuit filed in my name, all without benefit of a personal interview. The case did not start about records, it was about the land use code.

I went to an attorney with the expectation land use codes apply the same to each of us and Mr. Power turned it into a records case.

Shortly after signing his contract, he requested I sign a new contract with an associate, a well-known attorney he utilized in records cases around the region. Her contract stated she was lead and he would assist, and both would provide monthly billing statements which was not the case. Mr. Power was lead while co-counsel assisted. Co-counsel sent monthly billing for her small amount of time while Mr. Power never did. Mr. Power also requested I front each of them $2,000 for expenses. The county quickly offered to settle. I was to receive $22,501 which I intended to donate, and Mr. Power would receive reasonable attorney fees. Mr. Power asked for attorney fees of $29,942.75 ($330 per hour), which I was not made aware of until the court hearing in Skagit County. The county objected to the amount, and upon learning his charge to handle a single complaint, I too was naturally upset. Rather than Mr. Power arguing his own fees, he used co-counsel to defend him and charged me. Ironically, after defending their attorney’s fees, (Power and his co-counsel) ended up with $51,000 ($27,000 to Power and $24,000 to co-counsel for defending Mr. Power’s attorney fees). Mr. Power claims to be the candidate of transparency and honesty but his actions reflect his self-interest. Randy Gaylord has worked on our county’s behalf for years and deserves our votes.

Sheryl Albritton

San Juan Island

Editor’s note: Attorney Nick Power said that he “strongly objects to her factual recitations” about this case. He said that the money awarded by a judge in a public records case is to pay for attorney fees and that the represented party receives the requested documents. According to Power, Sheryl Albritton was aware of this and made a statement, under oath, supporting the two attorneys’ charged fees.