Bailey Stober, the embattled chairman of the King County Democrats, has responded to the findings of an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed and bullied an employee and committed multiple acts of financial misconduct with an email asserting that the investigation effectively exonerated him on “77% of the allegations against me.” The email went out to every precinct committee officer in the county—the very same PCOs who will be voting next week on whether to remove Stober from office—and appears to be an attempt to influence that vote.
“That is correct – my opponents have made up, exaggerated or have nothing corroborating over ¾ of the allegations they have thrown at me,” Stober wrote (emphasis in original.)The report, importantly, did not say anything about Stober’s “opponents” (his accuser and her supporters), nor did it conclude that any of the allegations against Stober were false, much less “made up,” “exaggerated,” or uncorroborated.
As I reported earlier this week, the investigation only “substantiated” those allegations for which there was irrefutable written or video proof, meaning that—for example—the alleged victim’s claim that she feared retaliation for speaking out against Stober was deemed impossible to verify, despite testimony from four other witnesses that she expressed a specific fear of losing her job when she told them about his behavior. (The woman, Natalia Koss Vallejo, was in fact fired by Stober shortly after someone filed a complaint against Stober on her behalf.)
Saturday update: Sharon Mast, who has been filling in as interim chair of the King County Democrats while Stober is investigated, sent out an email late Friday night to the group’s official email list cautioning members that “the investigation report to which [Stober] refers did not exonerate him” and imploring them “to hold off forming any opinions on this matter until you have received the Trial Committee’s report, which will be distributed through official channels.”
As I wrote when I published the full report on the investigation:
Either Stober is lying, or all the people who have given statements against him, including the organization’s longtime treasurer and a former vice-chairwoman who is no longer associated with the group, are. Given that Stober is the one who is on record mocking Koss Vallejo’s appearance, joking about crowning the man who allegedly sexually assaulted an underage volunteer at a Democratic Party function “party rapist of the year,” and pressuring Koss Vallejo to come out for drinks even after she demurred again and again, I’d say the former scenario is more plausible.
Leaders of the King County Democrats’ executive board, which has been fixated on finding “leakers” among its members, put “security tags” on the report that were supposed to track who made copies and who shared the information with people outside the organization such as myself. Looks like Stober himself had no trouble getting a copy of the report from someone on the board, and using it to promote the idea that he is an innocent victim of a smear campaign.
The KCDCC will hold a “trial” of Stober under Robert’s Rules of Order this weekend, and the precinct committee officers (some of whom will be unable to vote because Stober has not approved their appointments) will take a formal vote on whether to remove him on April 15.
Stober’s entire response is below the jump.