In her Washington State Patrol interview transcript, Sarah Boggs told the story of how she first brought allegations against Matt Padgett to HR Director Jesse Smith (J. Smith was since fired for misconduct). When State Internal Affairs questioned her about the written complaint submitted to WSP, Sarah said that the paper did not reflect her original claim.
As she told the investigator, to her chagrin, the Shoalwater Bay administration had manipulated her grievance, dividing and changing the direction of the complaint into two separate categories, and then shelving altogether her original charges.
Administrators had changed the main focus of Sarah’s concerns to various forms of workplace harassment, allegations that Sarah rarely claimed to have directly experienced herself. Instead Sarah drew mainly on second or third-hand interpretations of hazy events that purportedly took place up to 3.5 years in the past; ignoring Shoalwater Bay Policy that require a seven day report period, that is, if employees decide to use the Problem Resolution Procedure Form that Sarah was given by HR to fill out, minus claims of fraud.
Sarah Boggs’ initial claim was for what she called “time card theft” and “fraud.” Notably, Officer Sarah Boggs had made similar charges against Shoalwater Bay managers, even calling out the Social Services Director at an officer’s meeting with allegations of fraudulent “time card stacking.”
“On receiving a report of suspected fraud,” Shoalwater Bay Policy says, “Human Resources shall document the contact and conduct a preliminary investigation to determine the credibility of the report . . . Human Resouces’ documentation shall include support for the determination.”
Rather than approaching the fraud allegations according to Council-prescribed Tribal Policy, especially mandates to, “take all reasonable measures to assure that reports of fraud are treated with discretion and confidentiality,” the HR Director reported Sarah’s complaint directly to her chain of command with the okay given to have an officer’s meeting in which to confront her supervisor directly.
A day or two following Sarah’s verbal complaint against Padgett, as Sarah recalls, she spoke with Robin Souvenir. Soon after that Sarah met again with HR Director Jesse Smith who told her, ‘I talked to your chief this morning, he told me about the conversation that you guys had yesterday, sounded like it was a really good conversation, and now everything’s resolved.’ Sarah responded, “And I said no, nothing’s resolved.”
Instead of approaching the complaint in straightforward terms as laid out in policy Officer Sarah Boggs’ concerns were handled in more of a strained, tangled, and even overtly deceptive way. For instance, in official correspondence to Lt. Matt Padgett informing him of the WSP investigation, Tribal Administrator Mike Rogers dated Sarah’s initial complaint, the one alleging fraud, as taking place on August 22, 2018.
In Rogers’ official correspondence the Tribal Administrator left out the fraud claims that Sarah had reported and focused instead on a set of new allegations that were penned by Sarah on September 5, 2018, at HR Jesse Smith’s request. These Rogers included in his letter to Padgett, but backdating them, possibly to make it appear that the new allegations were the original.
Sarah Boggs’ Allegations.
Robin Souvenir on November 9, 2018 testimony: In Souvenir’s (non-taped) interview with WSP investigator James Riley, Robin told investigators that at an officer’s meeting Sarah Boggs claimed that Kathirine Horne was caught in fraudulent activity involving time cards in an elder program scam. In a later interview with Kathirine Horne, the Social Services director was very surprised that Sarah would say this about her. Horne said it was not an accurate representation by Sarah.
Robin Souvenir: “Sarah said Katherine Horne was mis-appropriating funds (Elder Program).”
Matt Padgett’s November 9, 2018, testimony: Lt. Padgett recalled an officer’s meeting where Sarah Boggs informed her fellow officers that the Social Services Director was involved in time-card fraud on behalf of one of her employees.
Matt Padgett: “And I know exactly the time. I don’t know about numerous occasions, but we were in an officer’s meeting, and Officer Sarah Boggs was telling us about, uh – the social services director stacking, uh, one of her employees time cards so she could help purchase a vehicle, uh, from a tribal elder.”
Kristofer Aho’s October 24, 2018 testimony: Officer Kristofer Aho told WSP investigators that prior to his interview Sarah Boggs (certainly to get Aho in a fearful temperament and primed against Padgett) said to him that on Friday, October 19, 2018, Robin Souvenir and Matt Padgett came to a Tribal Council meeting and explained their intent to fire all officers within the Shoalwater Bay Police Department.
Kristofer Aho: “I was told by Officer Sarah Boggs that she was contacted by Kathirine Horne, who’s the social services director for the tribe, on – I believe it was on Friday or maybe Monday – just before I came in here, and told her that at the most recent tribal council meeting, that Lieutenant Padgett and Chief Souvenir came into council and asked if they could present their side of the case and asked for the immediate dismissal of Sarah Boggs, Chris Boggs, and myself.”
Kathirine Horne on January 30, 2019 email: Shoalwater Bay Social Service Director Kathirine Horne was asked about Sarah Boggs’ claims that her chain of command sought Council approval to fire all Shoalwater Bay Police officers. Kathirine called into question the story’s credibility as she could not make sense of the statements that were made by Sarah Boggs to Aho.
Kathirine Horne: “I don’t think that happened, meaning Robin going to the Council. That just isn’t something a Director or Manager would do in a public meeting, and what reason would there be to get rid of them in the first place…I do not know what happens in Council because I only appear in Council if it pertains to me. I pretty much only interact with the officers when we have a mutual case, so that statement doesn’t make sense at all. I don’t have a chit chat relationship with anyone to tell them something like that…a Council member could probably verify whether Robin was even ever there…. have a happy day!”