Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, March 18, 2016, Page 4A, Image 4

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    4A March 18, 2016 Seaside Signal
Details of Barnett agreement
released after sudden exit
Trial set for man
accused in wild
police chase
Former longtime officer
received $20,000, benefits
By Kyle Spurr
Dismissal may be linked to
federal appeals case
By R.J. Marx
Seaside Signal
A veteran Seaside police of¿cer
who retired Wednesday, March 9, re-
ceived a cash payment from the city.
The city agreed
to pay Steve Bar-
nett, a former lieu-
tenant who served
the Seaside Police
more than 32 years,
$20,000 in addition
to medical, vaca-
tion and sick leave
The payment
Steve Barnett
was described as
“good and valuable consideration” for
the terms of a retirement agreement
signed in February.
According to the agreement, ob-
tained by The Daily Astorian through
the state’s open records law, Barnett
was on paid administrative leave un-
til his retirement became effective
Barnett released Seaside Police and
city of¿cials from any future legal ac-
tions, including civil rights and labor
standards lawsuits, and waived claims
for future pay.
Both the city and Barnett agreed to
“mutual duties of nondisparagement.”
Barnett agreed to “not engage in
any actions or make any statements to
any person or entity” — including the
news media and any other governmen-
tal bodies — that disparage or impugn
Seaside of¿cials.
If Barnett breaches the nondispar-
agement clause, he would be required
to return settlement funds and pay ad-
ditional costs.
The city agreed that City Manag-
er Mark Winstanley and Police Chief
Dave Ham will remain silent regarding
Barnett’s “character or reputation,”
and are similarly barred from conver-
sations with the media or governmen-
tal agencies.
According to the agreement, Sea-
side may not restrict the First Amend-
ment privileges of city employees,
By R.J. Marx
Seaside Signal
A lawyer representing Seaside po-
lice Lt. Steven Barnett said he could
not “make any comment” on” the
sudden dismissal of Barnett from his
post as second in command at the de-
Sean Riddell, the Portland-based
attorney who is representing Barnett
in an appeal of a 2014 court decision,
said his client signed a “nondispar-
agement request” regarding what the
city called the “retirement” of Bar-
nett, effective Wednesday.
In 2013, Riddell ¿led a First
Amendment retaliation claim against
Clatsop County District Attorney
Josh Marquis, and Clatsop Coun-
ty Chief District Attorney Ronald
“We ¿led a First Amendment re-
taliation claim claiming Josh Mar-
quis refused to work with Steven
Barnett because Steven Barnett be-
cause Steve Barnett wrote a letter
(to the Daily Astorian) critical of
Josh Marquis,” Riddell said Tuesday.
“Marquis claimed prosecutorial im-
munity and the Circuit Court judge
in Portland agreed with him. We ap-
pealed to the Ninth Circuit. We’re
waiting to hear the date that we get to
make oral arguments in front of the
Ninth Circuit.”
From the 2013 brief, Barnett al-
leged Marquis informed the Sea-
side Police Department he could not
vouch for Barnett’s credibility.
According to the brief, Marquis
had stopped accepting cases for
If the city violates its portion of the
agreement, Barnett could receive addi-
tional fees.
Barnett, who was promoted to lieu-
tenant last year, had previously served
as the department’s lead criminal de-
tective investigator for 17 years before
prosecution investigated by Barnett,
would not call Barnett to the witness
stand and would not direct the attor-
neys under Marquis’ supervision to
do the same.
Barnett alleged Marquis directed
the Seaside Police Department to
determine Seaside police of¿cer he
would work and communicate with,
excluding Barnett.
The case was dismissed in May
An appeal to that decision was
¿led in June 2014.
Marquis’ lawyers replied to the
complaint by stating “Absolute
immunity to a prosecutor’s perfor-
mance of a prosecutorial function
even when the challenged conduct
is ‘inept or malicious,’ and ‘intent
should play no role in the immunity
In an August 2014 response they
argue the district court correctly con-
cluded that Marquis and Brown are
“entitled to quali¿ed immunity.”
“We appealed to the Ninth Cir-
cuit, ¿led briefs, and are waiting for
the date of oral argument,” Riddell
Riddell said the Ninth Circuit
“can make a decision on the brie¿ngs
alone, or they can say ‘We want to
hear oral arguments.’ Right now the
brie¿ngs are in and we’re waiting to
hear if they’re going to make a de-
cision on the brie¿ngs or hear oral
“We’re looking forward to the
Ninth Circuit decision and I can’t
make any comment on the Seaside
case,” Riddell added.
returning to a patrol sergeant position.
The lieutenant position is the patrol
division commander and serves as act-
ing police chief in the absence of the
Barnett ran unsuccessfully for
county sheriff in 2012.
EO Media Group
A trial date is set for the
Seaside man accused of lead-
ing police on a wild chase last
fall through a Cullaby Lake
Donald Allen Sanders, 35,
is scheduled for trial begin-
ning June 7 in Clatsop Coun-
ty Circuit Court. The trial is
expected to last two to three
He is accused of eluding
police, crashing into a yard,
breaking into a deputy sher-
iff’s home and assaulting the
deputy’s wife before being
He pleaded not guilty to 15
counts. The charges include
¿rst-degree burglary, ¿rst
and second-degree assault,
fourth-degree felony assault,
attempt to elude, attempted
unauthorized use of a vehicle,
reckless driving, unlawful en-
try into a motor vehicle, reck-
lessly endangering another
person, ¿rst-degree criminal
mischief and driving under
the inÀuence of intoxicants.
The October incident start-
ed when law enforcement wit-
nessed Sanders speeding in
Seaside, heading northbound
on U.S. Highway 101.
Sanders continued on to
the Cullaby Lake neighbor-
hood. He drove through bar-
ricades and went over lawns
and down walking paths. He
caused more than $1,000 in
damage, according to the in-
He then stopped and al-
legedly tried to steal a Clat-
sop County Parks Department
pickup truck, but the keys
were not inside the vehicle so
Donald Sanders
he returned to his 1995 Nissan
Sanders lost control of his
car, crashed near the depu-
ty sheriff’s house and ran on
foot. He broke into the house
on the 33000 block of Cullaby
Lake Lane and assaulted the
deputy’s wife by slamming
her into the corner of a wall,
the indictment states.
The deputy sheriff grabbed
Sanders and Warrenton Police
Chief Mathew Workman ar-
rested him.
Charges against Sanders
have aggravating factors since
the deputy’s wife was not pro-
voking him, and he allegedly
committed the assault in front
of the woman’s child.
Sanders’ defense lawyer
Squire M. Bozorth said he
hopes to negotiate a resolu-
tion to the case before trial,
but has not received any plea
offer from the prosecution.
After setting the trial date
Wednesday, Clatsop County
Circuit Court Judge Cindee
Matyas said both sides can
continue negotiating until
“Just because we are set-
ting a trial date does not mean
that we cannot continue reso-
lution discussions up until tri-
al,” Matyas said.
Sanders remains in custo-
dy on $200,000 bail.
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