Serving Franklin County, WA

Government or 'den of thieves'

Letter to the Editor

You may already be aware of my recent social media post where I laid out the case of the Adams County Sheriff's

Office — led by Sheriff Dale Wagner — seizing and selling a home that was co-owned by a pair of brothers. The

innocent brother had his property right violated .

But this is not the first or only time the sheriff defrauded an innocent man of his rightful ownership in his real estate


The record clearly shows that on Oct. 9, 2017, Adams County Prosecuting Attorney Randy Flykt —under orders

from Superior Court Judge Steve Dixon — presented Adams County commissioners with a writ of seizure,

summons, complaint of forfeiture, declaration of Sheriff Wagner and Lis Pendens prepared by Chief Deputy

Prosecuting Attorney Robert Lehman — for a property that was subject to forfeiture due to illegal grow of

marijuana by the homeowner. There was also documentation for a second dwelling the grower was renting from a

family member and using unbeknownst to the owner and using for the same purpose.

The law bars seizure for things like rentals, comingled properties and properties where the owner had no knowledge

of criminality. This example fits all three criterion.

I pointed this anomaly out to Randy Flykt, who defended the seizure as not only having happened some years ago,

but also stated that the interested property owner had the obligation to file to vacate civil forfeiture within 30 days of

the judgement.

I stated I know for a fact that the sheriff was informed that the owner had been living in Mexico taking care of

family for years and could have been reached, and that the sheriff did not bother to find the man in Mexico. He sent

mail to a previous Washington state address.

County government? I say 'den of thieves.'

Sean Bates



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