The Olympia Washington Kiwanis members and their friends have cost the Washington State taxpayers over $50 million dollars (so far), because of their willful ignorance of long term, merciless and well known, child abuse that occurred at the Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch.
October 2006 note: This Olympia Kiwanis stuff is old news. I've left this information on the web, because I like the thought that someone will say to one of these Kiwanis friends or members: "Grandma, (Grandpa), are you still friends with those Olympia Kiwanians?"
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COLLOQUY, BE IT REMEMBERED that on Wednesday, September 14, 1994, at 3:33 p.m. at 910 Lakeridge Way S.W., CITY, Washington, before DIXIE J. CATTELL, Notary Public in and for the State of Washington, appeared JUDGE SUSAN A. DUBUISSON, the witness herein; WHEREUPON, the following proceedings were had, to-wit:
MR. PAUL: Before we commence your deposition, Judge Dubuisson, I've been slowly made aware during the day that Mr. Law has produced treatment records relating to several of the boys who are the subject of this case, which were requested in 1993 and supposed to have been produced some 15 months-ago, and these are daily logs consisting of treatment rendered to the plaintiff boys in 1991 and 1992. According to the deposition testimony yesterday of Laura Rambo, they were part of the treatment files and would normally have been kept in chronological order as part of those files. The.material is, to say the least, pertinent and critical, and the plaintiffs are displeased that we haven' t been able to receive our treatment files of our clients until this time and will be moving for--
MR. LAW: Counsel, is there some reason why you're raising this before Judge Dubuisson today?
MR. PAUL: Yes.
MR. LAW: First of all, youve already misstated the record: You said you've become aware today. That's wrong and you know that's wrong, and you didn't learn that today. And, furthermore, what you've said is false, but you certainly didn't learn it today. So, you know, why don't we go on with the deposition. Whether there is a discovery dispute going on between you and me is immaterial to this witness's testimony, so why don't you just get on with the deposition.
MR. PAUL: Notwithstanding the fact that the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours, I want to tell you the reason I'm putting this on the record, is because we'll be seeking sanctions Friday, a week from this, at the same time that you have set some matter before the Court, and I would like to swear the witness and get going.
MR. LAW: Does this relate to this deposition, Counsel?
MR. PAUL: Swearing the witness does.
MR. LAW: Your other comments?
MR. PAUL: Go ahead, Dixie.
JUDGE SUSAN A. DUBUISSON, having been first duly sworn by the Notary, testified as follows:
EXAMINATION BY MR. PAUL:
Q Could you - Judge Dubuisson, we've been introduced. my name is David Paul. I represent the plaintiffs in this case against the O.K. Boys Ranch, State of Washington, and Kiwanis Club of Olympia. Can you state your name and address for the record, please?
A Yes. My name is Susan Dubuisson. You want my home address?
Q Business or home.
A Okay, my business address is 2000 Lakeridge Drive Southwest, Olympia, 98502.
Q Thank you for making ypurself available to us, and I understand you have a 5:00 constraint, so we're going to work to satisfy that. You serve on the Board of Directors of the Kiwanis Club of Olympia presently?
Q Why don't you describe for me-the times that you have served on either the Kiwanis Club of Olympia or the Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch or both.
A I served on the Boys Ranch Board from September of 1987 through September of 1993 for two three-year terms. I was on the board of the Olympia Kiwanis Club for one year during that time,.but I do not remember which year it was. It would have been at least two years ago, but, I'm sorry, I can't remember exactly what the year.
Q Have you reviewed any documents in preparation for your deposition today?
Q What records have you reviewed?
A Well, I have kind of a casual file or had kind of a casual file of documents from the O.K. Boys Ranch and from the Kiwanis Club, and it consists of things like a copy of the bylaws; the Olympia Kiwanis Club bylaws; minutes from the meeting of - several sets of minutes of meetings from the Boys Ranch; some information that I assisted the Boys Ranch with. For example, I have a job description of the executive director, that type of thing. It was not a file that I regularly kept. It was just a folder that I put things in that I needed to have information about later.
Q Do you still have that file in your possession and control?
A I have, in my office, yes.
Q Are there documents in there that might refresh your recollection for the deposition today?
A I don't know what questions you're going to ask me.
Q That's a fair response. Is there anything in there concerning the investigation that the DSHS or the police did from the summer of 1992 forward?
A There's nothing specific on - you mean the subject of the lawsuits?
A There may be a phone message from another board member or something calling to ask me to call them or something along those lines, but there's no documents relating to it that I can recall.
Q Are there any notes prompting issues of concern or areas of concern or questions of concern that you have in this litigation or the events preceding the litigation?
A I'm sorry, you'll have to be more specific.
Q Again, I can't be too specific because I don't know what you might have, but are there notes about the facts, circumstances, or inquiries made relating to the failure to report sexual misconduct or sex among and between the boys at the Ranch or physical violence of the boys at the Ranch or physical violence by staff against the boys at the Ranch?
Q To reiterate, then, you served on the board of the Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch for roughly six years?
Q And in reviewing the bylaws, are you aware that the Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch is a standing, committee of the Kiwanis Club of Olympia?
Q I'm going to pass you what we will mark as an exhibit to your deposition.
A Do you want to mark it first?
MR PAUL: Let's go off the record. We'll mark this as Exhibit 1 to Judge Dubuisson's deposition. (Deposition Exhibit No. 1 marked for identification)
Q (By Mr. Paul) What I've passed you has actually previously been marked as Exhibit 9 to Mr. Powell's deposition and 9B to Mr. Powell's deposition. Do you have that in front of you?
A I have what you just gave me. I don't know about the other deposition, but . . .
Q Are these the bylaws of the Kiwanis Club of Olympia as you understand them?
A Well, they're entitled Bylaws, Kiwanis Club of Olympia, and it looks like the same set of bylaws that I've seen before. I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing, but it looks similar.
Q As you take a minute to review those, is there anything that you see, that's not right? I mean, that's--
A Well, I'm only familiar with these bylaws in a general way, and when you asked me if it's not right, do you mean that it doesn't look like it's in the stuff that I've seen before?
Q That would be fine, yes. (Mr. Kelley leaves room)
A This looks like similar to the one that I've seen. I know that there have been some amendments to the bylaws over the years, and I don't know if this includes the different amendments or not.
Q "Over the years," can you tell me what you mean by that?
A Well, I remember at some point, when I was on the board, seeing a copy of the bylaws that had amendments, but it's been a while, and it wasn't something that I was really that interested in, so I don't remember exactly what they were.
Q You did take an interest at some point between 1987 and 1993 in the bylaws with regard to personal liability of directors, did you not?
A Now, what were the dates that you said? Between--
Q Between 1987 and 1993.
A Okay. When I was on the Kiwanis Board, yes, that's right.
Q What was the nature of your concern?
A I'm sorry. My concern about what?
Q About individual liability.
A I don't know that this is an issue that I was concerned about, but while I was on the board, I was requested or somehow became involved in amending the bylaws or researching an amendment to the bylaws in reference to the liability of the officers and directors.
MR. LAW: Counsel, could we have a clarification as to whether she's talking about when she was on the Kiwanis Board or the O.K. Boys Ranch Board?
THE WITNESS: I was actually on both boards, but it would be in reference to my duties as part of the Kiwanis Board.
Q (By Mr. Paul) And you were, just to be clear, looking into modifications of the bylaws of the Kiwanis Club of Olympia bylaws?
Q What prompted that effort?
A I don't really recall if there was anything specific that prompted it. The issue came up at some point at a board meeting, and I don't remember who brought it up or what. I don't remember that there was a particular issue, butand I don't - perhaps Counsel would know when the corporation law was changed to allow the bylaws to cover immunity of directors and officers, but it had something to do - and someone must have brought it up. It may have been in reference to an international Kiwanis issue. There was quite a big fuss about the international bylaws when women were admitted to the Olympia Kiwanis club. It may have been around that issue; I'm not sure. But I either volunteered or I was asked as an attorney to research the appropriate language to change the bylaws, and I remember looking up the statute and making a proposal about the bylaw change, just taking the language from the statute.
Q Did that change occur as a formal revision to the bylaws?
A I distinctly remember going to the Secretary of State's office, and I thought it was to file the amended bylaws, but I cannot tell you for sure if that was ever acted on by the Kiwanis Club, because, as I recall, someplace in these bylaws it says how you adopted the bylaws at an annual meeting, I think, an amendment to the bylaws.
Q With regard to the description of the duties of the Director of O.K. Boys Ranch, I think you said there was a job description in your personal file.
A Well, let me clarify that. At the time after Tom VanWoerden was terminated from the directorship, we discussed - the Board of the Boys Ranch discussed hiring a new director; and I took on the task, along with another member of the Board, putting together a job description for a search for a new director. That's what I was referring to. It was not the job description that Tom VanWoerden was hired to do. It's one that we created.
Q Are you familiar with the job description under which Tom VanWoerden worked?
A No, only in a very general sense. He was hired quite a bit before I ever knew him.
Q Have you ever seen the job description under which Tom VanWoerden worked, in writing?
A At some point I may have, but I don't recall.
Q You were on the Board of the O.K. Boys Ranch when the Kiwanis Board of Olympia - the Kiwanis Club of Olympia approved the formation of this O.K. Boys Ranch committee; is that correct?
MR. LAW: Object to the form.
Q -(By Mr. Paul) Did you understand my question? It may have been a little difficult.
A I thought you were asking me if I was on the Kiwanis Board when they formed the O.K. Boys Ranch Board.
Q No. My question was--
Q Maybe I can clarify. Were you on the board of the O.K. Boys Ranch when Kiwanis Club of Olympia approved the formation of the Boys Ranch Committee?
A I'm not familiar with what you're referring to by Boys Ranch Committee. The Board, Board of Directors for the Boys Ranch?
Q I understand that there was a subcommittee or strike that. I understand there was a standing committee of the Kiwanis Club of Olympia which was the O.K. Boys Ranch; is that correct?
A The standing committee that's referred to in the bylaws?
A That was the same as the Board of Directors for the O.K. Boys Ranch. There wasn't a separate committee that I'm aware of.
Q I understand that.
A Then I'm not following your question.
Q Were you on the Board of Directors of O.K. Boys Ranch when there was a decision to have O.K. Boys Ranch become a standing committee of Kiwanis Club of Olympia?
A That was in the - no. If I'm understanding you correctly, that was established in the bylaws before I even joined the club. Am I following you?
Q Again, it's hard for me to know, because I can only rely on your recollection, Judge. Was there any change in the structure on or about February of 1988, as far as you know, concerning the relationship of this standing committee?
A The relationship of the standing committee in reference to what? In reference to the Kiwanis Club of Olympia.
A I can't remember anything about that.
Q Do you remember any changes in the structure of the relationship between the O.K. Boys Ranch and the Kiwanis Club of Olympia during the time you were involved? (Water spilled on table)
MR. LAW: This is off the record. (of the record)
A THE WITNESS: Can I answer now? Are we back together?
MR. LAW: Yes.
A You wanted to know if I knew of any change in reference to the relationship between the Boys Ranch Committee and the Kiwanis, O.K. - Olympia Kiwanis
Q (By Mr. Paul) Over time.
A. in February of 1988, I thought you said? Okay, I'm not clear exactly what you're asking, but I don't remember any change in the relationship between the Boys Ranch Board and the Olympia Kiwanis at any time that I was on the board.
Q As far as you know, was there always a standing committee called the O.K. Boys Ranch Committee, a standing committee of the Kiwanis Club of Olympia?
A Yes. I didn't know about it when I first joined, but when I became a member of the Boys Ranch Board, then I became aware that it was a standing committee. I knew that the Kiwanis Club always acted as the board. The members of the Kiwanis Club always acted as members of the Board of Directors for the Boys Ranch, but I wasn't actually aware that it was a standing committee till later.
Q Have you reviewed any minutes in preparation for - minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors of the O.K. Boys Ranch in preparation for the deposition today?
A I have a couple sets of minutes in my file. They're not connected to anything in particular. They just got stuck in the file for-some reason. But I believe they they were just right - right before I left the board.
Q Were you aware of the staff, personnel, employees of the O.K. Boys Ranch, who were terminated or disciplined as a result of excessive violence with the children at the Ranch?
A I'm not specifically aware or I don't remember a particular instance. I am aware that people were terminated from the Boys Ranch staff over the course of the time I was on the Board. That would be reported to the Board by the Director. And he would say in general terms sometimes or, more specific, why, but I don't remember any specific instances of reasons why people were terminated.
Q I'll pass you what, I think, is Exhibit 2 for your deposition. I'll ask that you just take one and pass it on.(Deposition Exhibit No. 2 marked for identification)
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Below is an e-mail I received from a former Olympia, Washington resident.
From: louis a bloom email@example.com
To: Louis Bloom firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 1999 11:34 AM
Just came across your pages and felt the urge to respond... In the early 80's (81-83) I was at the OKBR frequently as a young kid walking to/from school, I became friends with some of the boys. At one point a small boy confided to me that he was being raped by another boy in the home. The abusing boy talked about it openly!
Days later I walked the victim to OPD where we both gave statements. Later that evening I began to receive these incredibly threatening phone calls from a woman employee of the ranch who's name I believe was Paulette at my home. She kept calling over and over screaming at me calling me names. It was horrible. I thought I was helping someone. Nothing came of it. Then all these years later, it all comes out ... one of the boys that I had known there left as a young adult and still couldn't get it together, he eventually killed himself. As an adult now I don't often think back to those times but it still saddens me. All those boys that needed a safe nurturing place to be, and how many of them were better off for having been taken there? It's not about money. It cost these boys their lives, their souls, their trust. Those people who knew, who didn't care, they should feel such shame. Just my opinion.
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 1999 7:30 PM
Subject: Re: OKBR
thanks for your e-mail. from what i've read, dshs, the olympia police department, and other "authorities" didn't consider child on child rape to be against the law. it was considered "normal experimentation". The "paulette" you mention, may have been Collette Queener who was an assistant director at the OKBR. Collette, OKBR Director Tom Van Woerdan, and OKBR counselor Laura Rambo Russell were ineptly charged by Wa. St. with "criminal mistreatment for failing to stop abuse". The charges were dismissed by Thurston County Judge Daniel Berschauer on technicalities. The lawyer who represented Collette Queener said, (Nov. 14, 1996 Olympian), that it was a "witch hunt", and that " a more innocent person (than Queener) you could not have for a client. She's an ex-nun ..... I don't see how you could view her in an evil or negative light."
I congratulate you for doing the right thing, when all those adults looked the other way. I repeat on most pages that the " OKBR has cost the Washington State taxpayers over $35 million dollars (so far)", because I think most people don't care about the kids involved, but they may care that it has cost them (taxpayers) money.
From: louis a bloom email@example.com
There were many obvious and long-term warnings about the 1970-94 child abusing Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch.
There were many obvious and long-term warnings about the 1970-94 child abusing Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch.