Sean Lancaster

A Letter To Governor Jay Endslee, by Sean Lancaster

I am writing you in regards to a grevance I have with your attorney generals office, and the department of corrections.

I have to go back to the beginning of this topic so you will have some context to my grievance, and why I was retaliated against by the attorney general, and the department of corrections.

It was back in late 2013 when I noticed money missing from my inmate prison telephone account. 

I started the grievance process threw DOC’s iminastaitive program. Knowing this grievance process would take months I started up the chain of command asking for help to find my missing funds.

I contacted my case worker Cindy Tully and request for her to help me find out what was going on with my telephone account. I was told by Mrs. Tully that there was nothing she could do to help me. 

I than contacted the H-6 CUS, Carry Arlow of the unit and I received the same answer that I got from Mrs. Tully my case worker that she could do nothing help me. 

I continued up the chain of command to INI, than to the Superintendent and was repeatedly told the same thing, that there was nothing the department could do to help me, and the only thing that could be done was to sell me a new telephone pin number.

I was told by all of the above staff members that the $300 plus dollars I was missing from my account was gone because it was my responsibility to keep my pin number secure, and I would just have to take the lost.

At this point there was no further action I could take threw the department of corrections to find out what had happened to my missing money so I contacted the local Grays Harbor county sheriff’s department, and the Grays Harbor DA.

The Grays Harbor authorities responded to my request by sending me a letter of intent to investigate my complaint. 

DOC intercepted this letter from the Grays Harbor authorities, and issued a cease, and deasist order telling Gary’s Harbor authorities that this was an internal matter, and it will be handled by the department of corrections.

I was at the end of what I believed was the final step of recovering my missing funds when my good friend Steve told me that I could file a public request for information.

I filed a pubic records request with the public records department and was told by the public records department that my phone records were not pubic records and the agency would not provide the records I had requested.

At this time I had no other option other than to file a civil complaint in the superior court, which I promly did.

After fighting this PRA case in the superior for three years, the attorney generals office conceeded that the agency did violate the PRA, but that the agency did not violate the PRA in bad faith because the agency was just acting on an in house memo.

The superior court did not buy the agency’s argument, and I was awarded almost $3000 dollars for pentaly days.

The agency did not like the ruling of the superior court so it appealed to the court of appeals.

The court of appeals took the case and I had to pay filing fees, copy cost, court transcription fees, spending weeks researching, and arguing the case all over again.

The court of appeals took over a year to review my PRA case at which time the court of appeals agreed with the attorney general, and the agency’s argument, and so ordered that because I was a prisoner I would not be awarded the $3000 because I failed to prove that the agency acted in bad faith.

I am still the prevailing party because the court did not over turn the superior courts ruling that the agency violated the PRA, but I would not be awarded the money for penalty days because I am a prisoner in Washington state failing to prove the agency acted in bad faith, but I still won the case.

I am the prevailing party and yet the attorney generals office asks for court costs in violation of there own policy’s and the court still granted them court cost of almost $1000.

The attorney generals office is retaliating, and making a example of me, and I did nothing wrong. I was following the law using it to try and find my money, but learned a hard lesson that infact the attorney generals office is corrupt, using what ever means it can to win, and to disswade others from using the legal system because of fear of retaliation.

I have yet to have the agency provide all of the responsive records I asked for under the PRA.

I have yet to find out what happened to the $300 plus on my phone account, and now I am out $1000 in court cost, and all of the cost I had a crude fighting the case of at least $1000 dollars. 

Governor Endslee, I did not go into gross detail about the lies, miss conduct, and other violations propagated by the attorney generals office, and the other agency’s because I am not out to get any one. I just believe that government should lower its Vail of secrecy moving from these corrupt practices, and do the right thing. 

I do not believe this is how you expect your attorney generals office, or the department of corrections to conduct them selves and I am just bring this to your attention in the hope that you would talk to your agency’s to correct the corruption in there departments.

And in the spirit of full disclosure I have the entire case file that I will present to your office at any point in time as you see fit.

Sean K Lancaster

DOC #993150

PS- I’d love to get your feedback and perspective. Please feel free to contact me via jpay.com

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