ODEQ Enforcement Agents Above the Law?
By Curt Chancler
Jackson County, OR – Your elected officials are not championing your constitutional rights; the true champions of your constitutional rights are men like Larry Stockman, owner of Northwest Shot Manufacturing in Phoenix, Oregon. Mr. Stockman’s case is one of the most shocking examples of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality’s (ODEQ) unwarranted, unconstitutional and criminal attacks on an individual and his business that I have ever seen.
In our March 2010 issue of the US~Observer we published a letter that Larry Stockman had written to his elected representatives, voicing his frustration and presenting them with a copy of a constitutional challenge that he had already filed in ODEQ’s administrative court. We printed the constitutional challenge in its entirety, because it plainly showed why all administrative agencies are unconstitutional.
Larry Stockman could not believe that ODEQ enforcement agents could come to his home and business property, perform an unrequested inspection, then lie and make false statements on an official document and use that fraudulent document as an accusatory instrument to attempt to extort money from him. Then through fines and unauthorized services they claim to have performed, lien his property for thousands of dollars if he did not comply with their criminal demands.
Larry Stockman is a very bright guy, he has a lot of common sense and he has a working knowledge of his rights. He knew from the beginning of his ordeal with ODEQ, that ODEQ agent Susan Shewczyk’s alleged lying and making false statements on an official document was a crime.
Over the next several months, through several phone calls, letters and in person meetings, at least eight of ODEQ representatives at all levels were told of Ms. Shewczyk’s alleged criminal actions and not one of them would address the issue. In the mist of all of this going on, ODEQ’s administrative law specialist and attorney Ms. Regina Cutler, was still attempting to charge and fine Mr. Stockman, with violating a series of unconstitutional Oregon environmental rules. Ms Cutler was reportedly using the alleged lies and fraudulent statements made by Ms. Shewczyk in an official document, as the charging instrument to force Mr. Stockman into their unconstitutional administrative court system.
His next attempt to hold Ms. Shewczyk accountable for her alleged crimes was through the District Attorney. He had spoken by phone to Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston, and written three letters to him concerning Ms. Shewczyk’s alleged crimes. Mr. Huddleston told Larry he would not charge Ms. Shewczyk with a crime without a police report. Mr. Huddleston reportedly told Larry, “you can ask the Sheriff’s Department to investigate, but ODEQ is an administrative agency and money for this sort of thing is in short supply; I doubt if they will investigate it.”
His next step was an attempt to bring these crimes to the attention of the Jackson County Sheriff, but after several phone calls and three certified letters, there was no response from the Sheriff or his office. At a recent meeting with Sheriff Mike Winters, we were informed that he did turn the issue over to an investigator and that he would look into the matter.
Larry believed at this point ODEQ’s only defense for Ms. Shewczyk’s alleged criminal actions would be for ODEQ to change the official record. Sure enough, ODEQ’s next step was to petition the administrative court to change the official record.
It is important for our readership to understand that in the unconstitutional administrative court, ODEQ is not bound by the administrative law judge’s (ALJ) rulings. If the Judge makes a final ruling in your favor, ODEQ, by Oregon law and administrative law, possesses the power to instruct the administrative law judge to reopen the official record and allow ODEQ to change the court record by removing and changing evidence. ODEQ can now instruct the judge to make a new ruling on the case using the new evidence supplied by ODEQ.
A copy of the challenge that Mr. Stockman filed in court is available by viewing our online version.
ODEQ’s Lisa Freeman and Susan Shewezyk
ODEQ was allowed to reopen the case and change the evidence and Judge Gutman stepped down and Administrative Law Judge Joe Allen, was appointed to hear the case. Eventually after a long expensive legal battle, Judge Allen ruled in favor of Larry Stockman, however the alleged crimes committed against Larry Stockman, and his business NWSM, by ODEQ Representatives Susan Shewczyk, Lisa Freeman, Regna Cutler and a host of others have never been addressed. Larry Stockman is still working to remove thousands of dollars of leans that ODEQ has unconstitutionally placed on his property. Larry has demanded in three registered letters that ODEQ’s representative Dawn Ismerio tell him in writing what she believes gives her in her official capacity for ODEQ the constitutional authority to demand money and payment for unclear, unauthorized and unproven services that were alleged to be provided to him. At this point ODEQ has ignored all of Larry’s demands. Mr. Stockman still believes that justice and accountability for the crimes committed against him by ODEQ enforcement agents are just around corner – I hope he is right.