SK Parks Alleged Fraud a “Non-issue”

I spoke with Deputy Sgt. Eric Bockelie of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department this afternoon. He was dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s on a report to the prosecutor’s office regarding an investigation of alleged “insurance fraud” on the part of South Kitsap Parks & Recreation District Board of Directors. Sgt. Bockelie was unwilling to give details of the report, but Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jim Mitchell expects no charges will result from findings of the investigation. In fact, said Mitchell, “It’s really a non-issue.”
I’ll write a complete story when the report is filed. Here’s what I know so far.

Bockelie was wrapping up the report Wednesday and expecting to file it with the prosecutor before week’s end.
Mitchell said, barring some highly unforseen development, the investigation has turned up no chargeable offense.
“There’s really nothing to the allegations,” Mitchell said.
The sheriff’s department was acting on a citizen-submitted report filed Feb. 13, naming as the victim Washington Government Entity Pool, which insures the parks district.
The WGEP settled a claim with the district Nov. 2 for a fire which took place at the park Aug. 8, issuing a check for just over $31,000. The fire is being separately investigated as a possible arson.
Community members Kathryn Simpson, a South Kitsap school board member, and Judi Edwards, a former parks commissioner, have publicly alleged that parks commissioners inflated the value of items lost in the fire.
Simpson and Edwards questioned why items originally valued at $4,171, according to a document received from the WGEP, were revalued at $31,650.
Sheryl Brandt, director of claims and risk management for the WGEP, said it was her understanding the lower amount was what the parks district had listed at the time the policy was established. Her company is willing to make a reasonable settlement even when policy holders have not made annual updates, taking into account new property and the increased cost of replacement with inflation, she said. The readjusted amount of the claim appeared “reasonable” to Brandt, who added the fact it was not in line with the actual replacement value is not uncommon in the insurance industry.
“It does happen,” she said. “We try to avoid that. Occasionally it has happened.”
Brandt confirmed she had been contacted by the sheriff’s department on the investigation, but she had no further comment on the case.

5 thoughts on “SK Parks Alleged Fraud a “Non-issue”

  1. If the WGEP will start a division for Home Owners then sign me up. I don’t believe my Insurance company would allow me to purchase premiums and insure the contents of my house for $4,171, have a fire and then allow me to claim WITHOUT evidence (As SKPRD did) that I really had $31,650 worth of contents in my home. I belive they would aske for more eveidence and not just rely on my “collective memory” as was reported to the Insurance company by SKPRD. Furthermore-within two weeks of obtaining SKPRD ‘s List of Contents two Commissioners admitted to never having been in the mobile home. Since that time-one Commissioner has resigned.

  2. I cannot prove what was or wasn’t in the mobile. Having never been in the mobile (same as Steve Horn and Warren Collver), I relied on what the Parks Board said at their public meetings. According to them, “the only thing of any value in the mobile were the park records, which were destroyed”.

    However, I can state unequivocably that when the Parks Board provided “minutes” of their October 12th meeting that said they had a public discussion of the value of the contents of the mobile, they are not being truthful. The minutes reflect dialog that did NOT happen. I was there and if a discussion of the list of items and a $31,650 claim happened, we would have had the opportunity to question the Parks Board then and resolve any questions at the time.

    Why would we wait four months to question this matter if we knew about it?

    Instead, we found out about the claim through a public records request of the insurance carrier. That public records also yielded a copy of the “minutes” from the October 12th meeting.

    While we cannot “prove” what was or wasn’t in the trailer, we can prove that the SKPRD misrepresented their records of what happened at their public meeting. I was there. I know, for a fact, that a public discussion, at an open public meeting, that their insurance company required of them, did not happen.

    Why would the insurance company require this? Simple reason – it presents an opportunity for the public to question the validity of the claim. We didn’t have that opportunity, but the SKPRD told their insurance company that we did. Why lie if there wasn’t anything to question?

    Elected officials shouldn’t misrepresent their meeting minutes or hide financial information from the public.

    To grow the park, there needs to be stewardship that is responsible to the public and that respects the public enough to be truthful.

    Kathryn Simpson

  3. Ref: The 100 uniforms at $90 each that were supposedly stored in the mobile before the fire..
    Who bought the uniforms and stored them in the mobile?
    What happened to the $9,000 that was paid to the SK Park and Rec. Commissioners via the Insurance settlement?
    Has the $9,000 been paid to the owners of the uniforms and WHO were the recipients of the money or are the uniform Dollars still in the SKP&R Account?
    We want to know this !!!!!

  4. Having coordinated local basketball leagues in the SK community for years and ordering “uniforms” which were most often just the jersey top. The least we paid for tops wer $6-$7.Today I ordered the “T” tops for the 2007 league. The price? $13-$15. I asked my supplier who would order “uniforms” at $90.00 (The listed cost SKPRD claimed burned in the mobile.) South Kitsap High School paid $90-$105 for the boys complete set-shorts,pants jersey top. The girls $95.00 -$100.00. I use the same supplier as SKHS does. My supplier said the High school/three-piece uniforms are “High End.” Recreation Leagues never pay $90.00 for uniforms. I knew that-but SKPRD claimed that’s what was in the mobile. What was in the mobile? Uniforms from a former basketball league -no longer used-that never even belonged to SKPRD.

  5. Steve-My involvement with SKPRD has never been about egos or politics. It is something I attached myself to in 1990 (?) and I have bounced in and out over the years-and have been more involved-than not. I don’t know whose egos you might be talking about. Perhaps the current board? Thankyou for serving -but wish you could have helped bring this to a better conclusion before your departure. I actually felt relief for you when you resigned. I’m sure life is a tad bit more enjoyable.

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