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The Issues
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( Website Homepage )
Understand the ELS Federal Tax Fraud Scheme
Legal Opinions and
Documents related to the
ELS Tax Fraud Scheme
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Washington State
Precedential
Railroad Right-of-Way
Opinions Thru Brown

Significant ELST Correspondence Presented to Superior Court
(King County v. Rasmussen)



There are four webpages on this site that provide the significant ELST correspondence between John Rasmussen and government, individuals, and the press:

    1. Correspondence Presented to King County Superior Court. (This Page)
    2. Additional ELST Correspondence to Friends and Officials.
    3. Correspondence with The Seattle Times.
    4. Correspondence with the King County Journal (Eastside Journal).



Note from John Rasmussen:

    This series of fifty-seven letters was attached to my declaration to Judge Donald Haley in King County Superior Court. The letters document my fifteen-month campaign to communicate with King County government relating to its criminal actions in establishing the East Lake Sammamish Trail. The letters describe the stonewalling and lies used by King County to hide its illegal activity. The most important letter was my "whistle blower" letter to the King County leadership on February 7, 2000 which described King County's participation in the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme. My letters were ignored until I indicated my intention to block further illegal trespass with a shotgun. My intention to stand up against the corruption in King County with a gun was then presented to the public, and in King County Superior court, as an intention to illegally harm innocent county employees. The King County Prosecutor produced perjurious declarations which stated outright lies about me. I was not allowed to explain my intentions or defend myself against these false accusations. I have never been able to get answers from the County to the questions I posed in these letters. The federal tax fraud scheme used to establish the Trail has been successfully covered up by the county, the courts, and the press. This website is the only public exposure of the crime.

    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)



Subject: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:02:48 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: ron.sims@metrokc.gov
CC: ELST elst@metrokc.gov, "Dams, Al" al.dams@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Sims,

Last night I offered to have your East Lake Sammamish Trail manager, Jennifer Knauer, arrested if she set foot on my land. This was after she arrogantly offered to tour the ELST Citizen Advisory Group through my property on the abandoned rail bed without the least consideration for my property rights.

It's easy to understand why you are ignoring the property rights of those of us that live on East Lake Sammamish. You can buy a lot of votes with our land, while losing only a few of ours. Politicians like you and the Council; bureaucrats like those in the Parks Department; and do-gooders like The Land Conservancy have at least one thing in common. You buy your votes, and do your "good" with other people's money. In this case you steal a large portion of my life's savings to build your trail and promote your political careers.

I've been out bicycling three times in the last week. I've bicycled in the East Lake area for the last twenty years. I do not oppose a trail. I oppose the outrageous theft of my property to build the trail.

I am confident that the land under the tracks is my reversionary property. That means that when the track is abandoned, the land reverts back to me, the abutting owner. The U.S. Courts have ruled that the "doctrine of 'Shifting Public Use'" cannot stretch a railroad easement into a public park/trail. The establishment of a rail-trail is a new easement and therefore a taking. You should be committed to upholding the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and RCW 64.04.180. I print that law at the bottom of this e-mail, with the bold print my emphasis.

You, the county, have no right to enter my land for purposes of a trail until you deal with the issue of the taking, and compensation. I expect that the cost of paying the land owners for the takings along the lake will be in excess of 30 million. This is a cost that will have to be passed on to the voters/taxpayers. It is time to face up to your responsibility and obey the law!

When Ms. Knauer trespasses on my land and I call 911 for police assistance, will you instruct the King County Police to ignore the law in that case too? I have contacted the State Attorney General's Office for assistance. I believe the County has a conflict of interest.

I moved back to Washington State twenty years ago because I wanted to raise my family in my home state. Because of my job, my wife, Nancy, stayed home to raise our children. This gave her time to devote thousands of hours to volunteering in the community. We pay an obscene amount of property tax to live on Lake Sammamish, considering the modest house we own. Now you try to steal my property, destroy my privacy, and threaten my security by putting a trail through my back yard.

What a County!

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen
1605 E Lake Sammamish Place SE
Issaquah, WA 98029

    RCW 64.04.180 Railroad properties as public utility and transportation corridors--Declaration of availability for public use--Acquisition of reversionary interest. Railroad properties, including but not limited to rights-of-way, land held in fee and used for railroad operations, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities, are declared to be suitable for public use upon cessation of railroad operations on the properties. It is in the public interest of the state of Washington that such properties retain their character as public utility and transportation corridors, and that they may be made available for public uses including highways, other forms of mass transportation, conservation, energy production or transmission, or recreation. Nothing in this section or in RCW 64.04.190 authorizes a public agency or utility to acquire reversionary interests in public utility and transportation corridors without payment of just compensation. [1988 c 16 § 1; 1984 c 143 § 22.]



Subject: [Fwd: Illegal taking of my land]
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:49:05 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "McKenna, Rob" rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. McKenna,

It is hard to believe that you could pretend to represent me on the King County Council in light of your decision to ignore my property rights in the establishment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

Considering your training as a lawyer, I find it particularly troubling that you do not oppose this taking. Maybe it was Rose Bowl weekend when they taught the Fifth Amendment, and you were skipping class.

Please read the enclosed letter to Mr. Sims, and consider it addressed to you too.

Sincerely.

John Rasmussen

    Attachment:

    Subject: Illegal taking of my land
    Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:02:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: ron.sims@metrokc.gov
    CC: ELST elst@metrokc.gov, "Dams, Al" al.dams@metrokc.gov

    Dear Mr. Sims,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: [Fwd: Illegal taking of my land]
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:39:14 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Fimia, Maggi" maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov

Dear Council Member:

It is hard to believe that you could pretend to represent me on the King County Council in light of your decision to ignore my property rights in the establishment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

Please read the enclosed letter to Mr. Sims, and consider it addressed to you too.

Sincerely.

John Rasmussen

    Attachment:

    Subject: Illegal taking of my land
    Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:02:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: ron.sims@metrokc.gov
    CC: ELST elst@metrokc.gov, "Dams, Al" al.dams@metrokc.gov

    Dear Mr. Sims,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: RE: [Fwd: Illegal taking of my land]
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 16:12:28 -0700
From: "Vance, Chris" Chris.Vance@METROKC.GOV
To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

Mr. Rasmussen,

You are unfamiliar with my record. I have opposed the the trail (As proposed by staff, which would involve taking people's property) every step of the way.

Chris Vance



Subject: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 21:31:40 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net

References: Mr. Vance,

Thank you so much for your reply. It is rewarding in this time of electronic communication to have your thoughts in reply in so short of a time.

I appreciate your support of our property rights. My wife attended a local meeting with you where you expressed your commitment to property rights. I appologize for now mentioning that in my note today. We have contributed financially to your efforts.

The fact remains that the King County Council is trying to take our land in violation of Washington State Law and you are part of that Council. We need more that statements of support, we need our rights enforced.

The arrogant attitude of Jennifer Knauer of the Parks Department at the public meeting last night makes me distrust all of King County government. Does she represent your interests? If you think she does, I suggest you attend one of her meetings and just stand in the back to observe. Pretend you are just a regular person trying to make a living, pay your bills and make a better life for your kids. You won't like what you see.

It is important for me to emphasize that I do not oppose a bike trail. I probably have more bike miles in this area that most of the memebers of the local bike clubs. What I oppose is the illegal taking of my property by the County. Also, I am sickened by the process that the Parks Department has used to shut out those that live along the lake in the planning process. King County is developing the reputation of using public meetings as a sham. In the case of the ELST Citizen Advisory Group, I believe it is stacked to favor the Parks Department agenda, not to represent the people of the County. It certainly has shut out every member of the community that are most impacted: those of us that live along the Lake.

Mr. Vance, if you are on our side on these issues, I have to say simply you aren't doing enough. The County is about to steal my land and it must be stopped!



Subject: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 21:46:19 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov

Mr. Vance,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.

Some time ago, my wife attended a local meeting with you where you expressed your commitment to property rights. I apologize for now mentioning that in my note earlier today. In the past, we have contributed financially to your efforts.

The fact remains that the King County Council is trying to take our land in violation of Washington State Law and you are part of that Council. We need more that statements of support, we need our rights enforced.

Mr. Vance, if you are on our side on these issues, I have to say simply you aren't doing enough. The County is about to steal my land and it must be stopped!

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: RE: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 10:53:26 -0700
From: "Vance, Chris" Chris.Vance@METROKC.GOV
To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

I will vote for whatever it takes to stop the taking of private property. I believe, however, that a majority of the Council disagrees with you and I.



Subject: [Fwd: Illegal taking of my land]
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 18:21:28 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov

Mr. Vance,

Thanks for your frank assessment. I've asked each of your fellow council Members to respect my rights under Washington State Law, and have only heard from you to this point. It will be very interesting for me to hear from the other Council Members, if they even choose to respond.

I'm losing all faith in our governmental process. You give me hope.

Thanks,

-John-

John Rasmussen



Subject: RE: [Fwd: Illegal taking of my land]
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 22:42:30 -0700
From: "Derdowski, Brian" Brian.Derdowski@METROKC.GOV
To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

Dear John,

I am doing my best to represent your legitimate interests. You may not be aware of my efforts in this regard. I would be happy to discuss them with you. However, the solution that you are proposing is not likely to be resolved through the legislative process, but rather the court system.

Brian Derdowski



Subject: RE: [Fwd: Illegal taking of my land]
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 16:02:25 -0700
From: "Nickels, Greg" Greg.Nickels@METROKC.GOV
To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

Thank you for your e-mail. I represent District 8 on the Council. I believe you reside in District 12, represented by Councilmember Derdowski.

Greg Nickels
Metro County Councilmember



Subject: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 14:52:42 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov

Dear Governor Locke,

I ask for your help with a problem I am having with King County. I realize that you may be very good personal friends with Ron Sims because of your past political connections. I hope you can use that friendship to encourage Mr. Sims to obey State law.

King County is illegally taking my land for a bike trail. My property includes an abandoned BN railroad easement that the County is converting through the Rails-to-Trails system.

The attached letter to Mr. Sims details my concerns.

When the County intentionally violates State law, I believe that you have a responsibility to respond and protect the citizens of Washington State.

Please help.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen
1605 E. Lake Sammamish Place S.E.
Issaquah, WA 98029

    Attachment:

    Subject: Illegal taking of my land
    Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:02:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: ron.sims@metrokc.gov
    CC: ELST elst@metrokc.gov, "Dams, Al" al.dams@metrokc.gov

    Dear Mr. Sims,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: RE: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 09:47:26 -0700
From: Governor Locke Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov
To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

Thank you for contacting Governor Locke via e-mail.

We wanted to let you know that we received your message. Unfortunately, we cannot accept e-mail with attachments. You may resend your message with the text of your attachment in the body of your e-mail.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Constituent Services
Office of the Governor



Subject: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 14:34:44 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Gregoire, Christine" emailago@atg.wa.gov

Dear Ms. Gregoire,

I believe that King County is illegally taking my land for a bike trail. My property includes an abandoned BN railroad easement that the county is converting through the Rails-to-Trails system.

The attached letter to Mr. Sims details my concerns.

When the County intentionally violates State law, I believe that you have a responsibility to respond and protect the citizens of Washington State.

Please help.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen
1605 E. Lake Sammamish Place S.E.
Issaquah, WA 98029

    Attachment:

    Subject: Illegal taking of my land
    Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:02:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: ron.sims@metrokc.gov
    CC: ELST elst@metrokc.gov, "Dams, Al" al.dams@metrokc.gov

    Dear Mr. Sims,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: RE: Illegal taking of my land
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 14:27:15 -0700
From: "Scharber, Maureen (ATG)" MaureenS@ATG.WA.GOV
To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

Dear Mr. Rasmussen:

Thanks for your e-mail. While we appreciate your confidence in this office to undertake an independent review of the situation, it is not within our authority to do so. The Attorney General's Office does not have general investigatory or oversight authority over local governmental entities. This office serves as legal counsel to state agencies and is not authorized to provide advice to private citizens on personal legal matters.

You may wish to contact a private attorney who, after reviewing pertinent information will be in a position to advise you about your legal situation.

We regret we cannot be of further assistance to you on this matter, but trust you will understand the position this office must take under the law.

Sincerely,
Maureen Scharber
Ombudsman



Subject: Obeying the Law
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:15:46 -0700
From: John Rasmussen johnras@ibm.net
To: Gary Locke Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov
CC: ron.sims@metrokc.gov, maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov, cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov, louise.miller@metrokc.gov, larry.phillips@metrokc.gov, dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov, rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov, pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov, greg.nickels@metrokc.gov, kent.pullen@metrokc.gov, larry.gossett@metrokc.gov, jane.hague@metrokc.gov, brian.derdowski@metrokc.gov, chris.vance@metrokc.gov, al.dams@metrokc.gov,

Dear Governor Locke,

I wrote the letter attached below to Mr. Sims last Friday, April 9th. It outlines the illegal taking of our property to build a trail on East Lake Sammamish. Of course you should be aquatinted with the project, because I believe you were the King County Executive at it's inception.

The taking of our land to build the trail violates RCW 64.04.180. I ask you to hold King County accountable to this Washington State law. This may seem amusing to you, since you were originally responsible for the project, but I ask it in all seriousness. You swore to uphold the laws of Washington when you became Governor. I ask you to uphold that oath.

After I explained to the County that the rail bed and easement default to my wife and me under reversionary law, I'm told they sent out a prosecutor and police officer to defiantly escort the ELST committee across our property. It seems obvious that this was intended to intimidate and threaten us. This is without ever contacting me in response to my communication. No e-mail, no phone call, no knock at my door, just police state tactics. The stress the County is putting on those of us harmed by this taking is very real, and totally unjustified.

What is most troublesome is that this tactic by the County seems to be designed to provoke one of us into a confrontation. It would be great press to prosecute one of my neighbors and characterize us as unlawful to deflect attention from the outrageous actions of the County.

Mr. Locke, please enforce the laws of the Sate of Washington, or kindly explain why you refuse to do so.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    The Letter below was sent by e-mail to Mr. Sims on Friday, April 9th at 1:02 pm.

    Dear Mr. Sims,

    Last night I offered to have your East Lake Sammamish Trail manager, Jennifer Knauer, arrested if she set foot on my land. This was after she arrogantly offered to tour the ELST Citizen Advisory Group through my property on the abandoned rail bed without the least consideration for my property rights.

    It's easy to understand why you are ignoring the property rights of those of us that live on East Lake Sammamish. You can buy a lot of votes with our land, while losing only a few of ours. Politicians like you and the Council; bureaucrats like those in the Parks Department; and do-gooders like The Land Conservancy have at least one thing in common. You buy your votes, and do your "good" with other people's money. In this case you steal a large portion of my life's savings to build your trail and promote your political careers.

    I've been out bicycling three times in the last week. I've bicycled in the East Lake area for the last twenty years. I do not oppose a trail. I oppose the outrageous theft of my property to build the trail.

    I am confident that the land under the tracks is my reversionary property. That means that when the track is abandoned, the land reverts back to me, the abutting owner. The U.S. Courts have ruled that the "doctrine of 'Shifting Public Use'" cannot stretch a railroad easement into a public park/trail. The establishment of a rail-trail is a new easement and therefore a taking. You should be committed to upholding the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and RCW 64.04.180. I print that law at the bottom of this e-mail, with the bold print my emphasis.

    You, the county, have no right to enter my land for purposes of a trail until you deal with the issue of the taking, and compensation. I expect that the cost of paying the land owners for the takings along the lake will be in excess of 30 million. This is a cost that will have to be passed on to the voters/taxpayers. It is time to face up to your responsibility and obey the law!

    When Ms. Knauer trespasses on my land and I call 911 for police assistance, will you instruct the King County Police to ignore the law in that case too? I have contacted the State Attorney General's Office for assistance. I believe the County has a conflict of interest.

    I moved back to Washington State twenty years ago because I wanted to raise my family in my home state. Because of my job, my wife, Nancy, stayed home to raise our children. This gave her time to devote thousands of hours to volunteering in the community. We pay an obscene amount of property tax to live on Lake Sammamish, considering the modest house we own. Now you try to steal my property, destroy my privacy, and threaten my security by putting a trail through my back yard.

    What a County!

    Sincerely,

    John Rasmussen
    1605 E Lake Sammamish Place SE
    Issaquah, WA 98029

      RCW 64.04.180 Railroad properties as public utility and transportation corridors--Declaration of availability for public use--Acquisition of reversionary interest. Railroad properties, including but not limited to rights-of-way, land held in fee and used for railroad operations, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities, are declared to be suitable for public use upon cessation of railroad operations on the properties. It is in the public interest of the state of Washington that such properties retain their character as public utility and transportation corridors, and that they may be made available for public uses including highways, other forms of mass transportation, conservation, energy production or transmission, or recreation. Nothing in this section or in RCW 64.04.190 authorizes a public agency or utility to acquire reversionary interests in public utility and transportation corridors without payment of just compensation. [1988 c 16 § 1; 1984 c 143 § 22.]



Subject: Obeying the Law
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 12:56:58 -0700
From: Governor Locke Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov
To: 'John Rasmussen' johnras@ibm.net

Thank you for contacting Governor Locke's office via e-mail with your concern over King County using a neighboring abandoned rail line to create a public trail. Every day, our office hears from citizens across the state regarding a multitude of issues and problems, and we are pleased to help with as many as possible.

Unfortunately, the concerns you describe are personal legal matters and we do not have the staff or the authority to help directly or provide an attorney. We suggest that you work with local leaders in trying to reach an amicable solution. Otherwise your needs would be best addressed by retaining an attorney to advise you of your rights regarding the concept of reversionary property.

We are sorry that this has been such a difficult situation for you and we hope you will find a satisfactory solution to your problem.

Sincerely,

Constituent Services
Office of the Governor



Subject: RE: Obeying the Law
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 16:17:46 -0700
From: "Pflug, Rep. Cheryl" Pflug_Ch@leg.wa.gov
To: "'johnras@ibm.net'" johnras@ibm.net

Dear John:

I am sympathetic to your plight and frustrated that this is not something that we can be helpful with at the state level.

Thanks for keeping me posted.

Sincerely,

Cheryl



Subject: RCW 64.04.180
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 17:48:43 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

Mr. Eldred,

I called today to ask you why the County is not respecting my property rights under RCW 64.04.180. I own land along East Lake Sammamish that is bisected by the BN right-of-way. The law of the State of Washington clearly states that compensation must be paid before reversionary property may be taken. Why do you, the County, refuse to obey this law? I've asked this question to Gary Locke, and Ron Sims. Neither chose to answer. Will you answer this question?

I don't have a lawyer, and I don't want to pursue a lawsuit if that can be avoided. But, I need to understand why you, the County, is doing this to me and my family.

The law that applies is reproduced below. Would you please explain why the County refuses to obey this law? I would appreciate a reply by e-mail.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    RCW 64.04.180 Railroad properties as public utility and transportation corridors--Declaration of availability for public use--Acquisition of reversionary interest. Railroad properties, including but not limited to rights-of-way, land held in fee and used for railroad operations, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities, are declared to be suitable for public use upon cessation of railroad operations on the properties. It is in the public interest of the state of Washington that such properties retain their character as public utility and transportation corridors, and that they may be made available for public uses including highways, other forms of mass transportation, conservation, energy production or transmission, or recreation. Nothing in this section or in RCW 64.04.190 authorizes a public agency or utility to acquire reversionary interests in public utility and transportation corridors without payment of just compensation. [1988 c 16 § 1; 1984 c 143 § 22.]

    RCW 64.04.190 Public utility and transportation corridors-- Defined. Public utility and transportation corridors are railroad properties (1) on which railroad operations have ceased; (2) that have been found suitable for public use by an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States; and (3) that have been acquired by purchase, lease, donation, exchange, or other agreement by the state, one of its political subdivisions, or a public utility. [1988 c 16 § 2; 1984 c 143 § 23.]



Subject: RE: RCW 64.04.180
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 09:05:11 -0700
From: "Eldred, David" David.Eldred@METROKC.GOV
To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net
CC: "Knauer, Jennifer" Jennifer.Knauer@METROKC.GOV

Mr. Rasmussen:

Thank you for your e-mail and telephone call. I was out of the office Thursday and Friday of last week and was unable to respond until now.

Because I am the attorney for King County in the pending lawsuits regarding the East Lake Sammamish right of way, and as a result of general ethical limitations, I am unable to provide you with legal advice on this matter.

However, I can tell you that King County's position with respect to this right of way is clear. The statutes you have referenced do not require a municipality to pay "just compensation" unless that would otherwise be required by law. In the case of East Lake Sammamish, the right of way is railbanked pursuant to federal law. This federal law allows the right of way to be used as a trail until such time as it is abandoned or returns to rail service. Thus, to the extent that any reversionary interests exist on this right of way and to the extent that they run to adjacent landowners, they are not at issue at this time.

To the extent that you disagree with King County's position in this matter, I encourage you to work with the Parks Department Project Manager, Jennifer Knauer, or through your elected representatives.



Subject: Re: RCW 64.04.180
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 14:15:38 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Eldred, David" David.Eldred@METROKC.GOV
CC: "Knauer, Jennifer" Jennifer.Knauer@METROKC.GOV, Gerberding@METROKC.GOV
References: 1

Dear Mr. Eldred,

I've been out of town, and have just read your letter of April 26th.

I thought it odd that you construed my letter to be asking you for legal advice. I am not asking legal advice from you. I'm demanding that you stop violating my civil rights, and start obeying the laws of the State of Washington. RCW 64.04.180 and 190 are very easy to read and understand. What's hard is trying to figure a way around them. It is obvious to me that you are trying to promote your position in the County bureaucracy by doing exactly that. As an employee of the County, paid by my tax dollars, you should instead be trying to enforce the law and protect the County residents you serve.

Why don't you read RCW 64.04.180 and 190 and think about what you are doing.? Also, here is a quote for you to ponder: "King County cannot acquire the [ ] right of way from Burlington Northern without payment of just compensation to the reversionary interest holders. If the County takes this right of way and commences to build a recreation trail, it does so in violation of the constitution." That is a statement by the Washington State Supreme Court in Lawson v. State. If you are not familiar with that case, you don't deserve to be an attorney for King County in this matter.

As for your excuse that this is a Federal Case, Skagit County tried that and failed, just as you will. King County is taking my land to build a County trail for the people of King County. It's only logical that the cost of this taking fall on the County, and the County be liable under State law. The idea that you can dump this cost on the American Taxpayer has already failed, and is dishonest in concept. It's obvious you try this tactic only to delay the case and harm us.

You stated in your letter: "Thus, to the extent that any reversionary interests exist on this right of way and to the extent that they run to adjacent landowners, they are not at issue at this time." In light of the recent Federal and State decisions on railbanking, this statement demonstrates your total lack of understanding of this issue.

Mr. Eldred, your actions constitute a very personal attack on me and my family. They violate our property, our home, our health and our most basic civil rights. I believe you do this for the most ugly of reasons; to promote yourself.

Stay off my reversionary property until you pay for the taking as required by law. Further, advise the others in your organization to do the same.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 07:53:45 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Eldred,

With respect to the East Lake Sammamish Trail, you wrote in your last letter to me, "Thus, to the extent that any reversionary interests exist on this right of way and to the extent that they run to adjacent landowners, they are not at issue at this time." A copy of that letter is attached below. You are very wrong with that statement, and your mistake is harming my family, and many other families along Lake Sammamish. Reversionary owners are due compensation under both federal and State law. As the lawyer representing King County for ELST, you have an obligation to deal with that requirement.

The "Rails-to-Trails Act", U.S.C. Title 16 Section 1247d, gives you the right to take my reversionary property for a trail, but with that act comes a number of court decisions that interpret that law, and define your privileges and responsibilities. The most important cases in railbanking are the five federal Preseault decisions. Of those, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1990, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision in 1996 are most significant. If you are not completely familiar with those cases, you do not deserve to represent the County for ELST. Those decisions confirm that a taking of reversionary property occurs with railbanking. A number of people have suffered emotionally and financially through these court cases to confirm their rights under the railbanking law, and you simply choose to ignore the decisions. I believe you have listened to the lawyers for The Land Conservancy instead of doing the necessary research yourself. The lawyers for TLC have their own narrow political agenda as a priority; your job is to have the rights of the people of King County as a priority. You're failing to do your job. If you want to take my land, you must obey the law and compensate me. You cannot pick and choose which parts of the railbanking law you like; you take all of the law, or nothing. If you refuse to acknowledge my rights and compensate me for the taking of my reversionary property, I have the right to deny you possession of that property.

You state that, "...I can tell you that King County's position with respect to this right of way is clear." Mr. Eldred, if you have a clear view of this issue, then you should be able to explain the quotes below, in light of the actions the County has taken against the residents along the lake.

"...we reject the Government’s central thesis that general federal legislation providing for the governance of interstate railroads, enacted over the years of the Twentieth Century, somehow redefined state-created property rights and destroyed them without entitlement to compensation. (Part C.2.) The trial court erred in accepting that thesis." (Preseault v. United States, 100 F.3d 1525 (Fed. Cir. 1996))

"Although the Commission's actions may pre-empt the operation and effect of certain state laws, those actions do not displace state law as the traditional source of the real property interests. [] The Commission's actions may delay property owners' enjoyment of their reversionary interests, but that delay burdens and defeats the property interest rather than suspends or defers the vesting of those property rights." (PRESEAULT v. ICC, 494 U.S. 1 (1990))

You write that claims for reversionary takings are "not at issue at this time". That isn't what U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is saying in the quote above. They are very much at issue.

Here is another quote:

"The taking of possession of the lands owned by the Preseaults for use as a public trail was in effect a taking of a new easement for that new use, for which the landowners are entitled to compensation. As discussed previously, some courts consider that the establishment of a use outside the scope of an existing easement has the effect of causing an abandonment, and thus termination, of the existing easement. See, e.g., Lawson v. State, 730 P.2d 1308 (Wash. 1986). Either way, the result is the same — a new easement for the new use, constituting a physical taking of the right of exclusive possession that belonged to the Preseaults." (Preseault v. United States, 100 F.3d 1525 (Fed. Cir. 1996))

Of course, that quote, from the 1996 federal Preseault decision, refers to the most significant railbanking case here in Washington: Lawson v. State, Washington State Supreme Court, 1986. Here is a quote from that case.

"King County cannot acquire the [ ] right of way from Burlington Northern without payment of just compensation to the reversionary interest holders. If the County takes this right of way and commences to build a recreation trail, it does so in violation of the constitution." (Lawson v. State. (107 WA 2d 444 (1986))

Mr. Eldred, King County is violating the Constitution of the State of Washington by its actions against the residents of East Lake Sammamish. You are the lawyer responsible for that policy.

Here is the Washington State law you choose to ignore.

RCW 64.04.180 Railroad properties as public utility and transportation corridors--Declaration of availability for public use--Acquisition of reversionary interest. Railroad properties, including but not limited to rights-of-way, land held in fee and used for railroad operations, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities, are declared to be suitable for public use upon cessation of railroad operations on the properties. It is in the public interest of the state of Washington that such properties retain their character as public utility and transportation corridors, and that they may be made available for public uses including highways, other forms of mass transportation, conservation, energy production or transmission, or recreation. Nothing in this section or in RCW 64.04.190 authorizes a public agency or utility to acquire reversionary interests in public utility and transportation corridors without payment of just compensation. [1988 c 16 § 1; 1984 c 143 § 22.]

RCW 64.04.190 Public utility and transportation corridors-- Defined. Public utility and transportation corridors are railroad properties (1) on which railroad operations have ceased; (2) that have been found suitable for public use by an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States; and (3) that have been acquired by purchase, lease, donation, exchange, or other agreement by the state, one of its political subdivisions, or a public utility. [1988 c 16 § 2; 1984 c 143 § 23.]

Mr. Eldred, you claim a taking is "not at issue at this time" with ELST. The U.S. Supreme Court disagrees with you. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit disagrees with you. The Washington State Supreme Court disagrees with you. The lawmakers of the State of Washington disagree with you. The courts have decided that a taking of reversionary property occurs when rails are converted to trails under the federal act, and that state defined rights to compensation remain intact. You are required to obey RCW 64.04.180 because the federal railbanking law, as refined by the court decisions, does not interfere or conflict with the RCW requirement for compensation, and specifically recognizes that state right. King County has voluntarily decided to establish the ELST for the people of the County and State, and now must pay for the taking of any reversionary property involved. It's as simple as that.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe appraised the value of the land under the railroad easement along ELS at over $40 million. King County acknowledged that appraisal in the papers of sale. Only three or four of the lake properties were actually owned by the railroad and sold to King County, fee simple, at a price of around one million dollars. It can be assumed that the rest of the land is reversionary to some owner, as the law allows. If King County takes the ELS reversionary land for a trail, the County is required to pay those reversionary land owners the $40 million they are due. Mr. Eldred, your "clear" position, that the County does not need to pay, is clearly criminal.

Do not set foot on my reversionary land for purposes of a trail until you satisfy the conditions of the law outlined above, or convince me otherwise. You have the right to remove the tracks and ties as is allowed with railroad abandonment.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    Reference:

    Subject: RE: RCW 64.04.180
    Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 09:05:11 -0700
    From: "Eldred, David" David.Eldred@METROKC.GOV
    To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net
    CC: "Knauer, Jennifer" Jennifer.Knauer@METROKC.GOV

    Mr. Rasmussen:

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 08:47:30 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov CC: "Fimia, Maggi" maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov, "Sullivan, Cynthia" cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov, "Miller, Louise" louise.miller@metrokc.gov, "Phillips, Larry" larry.phillips@metrokc.gov, "Pelz, Dwight" dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov, "McKenna, Rob" rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov, "vonReichbauer, Pete" pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov, "Nickels, Greg" greg.nickels@metrokc.gov, "Pullen, Kent" kent.pullen@metrokc.gov, "Gossett, Larry" larry.gossett@metrokc.gov, "Hague, Jane" jane.hague@metrokc.gov, "Derdowski, Brian" brian.derdowski@metrokc.gov, "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov, "Locke, Gary" Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov, "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov, ELST ; Journal, Eastside ; Press, Issaquah ; Vesely, Jim ; dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Sims,

Until recently, I believed that you were intentionally violating my rights by the taking of my land under the East Lake Sammamish Trail. Now, I wonder if you have simply listened to some very bad advice from your lawyer, Mr. David Eldred, and the lawyers for The Land Conservancy, who have undue influence with the County. Whichever the case, it's inexcusable.

Copied below is a letter I have just sent to Mr. David Eldred, the County lawyer responsible for the trail. I believe Mr. Eldred has failed to properly advise the County of its legal obligations. I believe that he has taken the advice of the lawyers for The Land Conservancy, rather than do the necessary research himself. You need to understand that the lawyers for TLC have a rigid, political agenda, and very biased view of railbanking. If the County adopts their view, it violates the law and harms its constituents.

I'd like to offer some legal advice to balance the situation. That advice is contained in the attached letter to Mr. Eldred. It is not actually advice from me, it is advice from U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Washington State Supreme Court, and the lawmakers of the State of Washington. I think that you should read and heed their advice and direction, rather than the advice of the lawyers for TLC filtered through Mr. Eldred.

I've advised Mr. Eldred that no person from the County may set foot on my reversionary land for purposes of a trail until the County satisfies the conditions of the law, or convinces me otherwise. This means I plan to physically block the taking of my property by the County if it chooses to continue its present illegal course. I realize that King County has the might to overcome my protest, but the County does not have the right.

Mr. Sims, obey the law.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    Reference:

    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 07:53:45 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

    Dear Mr. Eldred,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: Independence Day on the ELST
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 1999 11:27:48 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov, "Sullivan, Cynthia" cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov, "Miller, Louise" louise.miller@metrokc.gov, "Phillips, Larry" larry.phillips@metrokc.gov, "Pelz, Dwight" dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov, "McKenna, Rob" rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov, "vonReichbauer, Pete" pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov, "Nickels, Greg" greg.nickels@metrokc.gov, "Pullen, Kent" kent.pullen@metrokc.gov, "Gossett, Larry" larry.gossett@metrokc.gov, "Hague, Jane" jane.hague@metrokc.gov, "Derdowski, Brian" brian.derdowski@metrokc.gov, "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov CC: "Locke, Gary" Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov, "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov, ELST elst@metrokc.gov, "Journal, Eastside" letterstoeditor@eastsidejournal.com, "Press, Issaquah" isspress@accessone.com, "Vesely, Jim" jves-new@seatimes.com, "Mitchell, Lisa" LisaMitchell@compuserve.com, "Welsh, Dick" dick@halcyon.com, dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Sims and King County Council,

Today is the Fourth of July, Independence Day. It's a time we celebrate our independence as a nation, and reflect on the principles by which this Nation was founded. Certainly, the most honest way to celebrate this holiday is to recommit ourselves to those principles. The right to own property, and to not have it confiscated without compensation, is one of the most basic rights of all for Americans.

Mr. Sims and Council, you have made the decision to violate this most basic constitutional right with your handling of the East Lake Sammamish Trail. This would be a good day for you to reevaluate your decision. Washington State Law and the Washington State Constitution require you to compensate the reversionary land owners along ELST for the taking of their land. You have taken the advice of radical trail proponents to ignore this law and basic right. You have bought the ridiculous myth that the Rails-to-Trails Act has the power to throw out the most basic property rights spelled out in the Washington State Constitution, and the U.S. Constitution. The Washington State Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have thrown out this myth, but you still cling to it. This is not about a difference of political opinion. This is about a decision by the King County government to intentionally disobey the law for the benefit of the politicians and bureaucrats, and to harm the people they "serve".

A few years back I flew antisubmarine patrol planes for the U.S. Navy. My crew and I put our lives on the line to resist the threat of nuclear weapons aboard the Soviet submarines we tracked. In all those years of service I never dreamed that the most direct threat to my basic rights as an American would come from you and the King County government, not the Soviets.

I hope you reflect on your deeds, and find the true spirit of Independence Day.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    --------------------------------------------------------- Washington State Constitution

    ARTICLE I, DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

    SECTION 16 EMINENT DOMAIN.

    Private property shall not be taken for private use, except for private ways of necessity, and for drains, flumes, or ditches on or across the lands of others for agricultural, domestic, or sanitary purposes. No private property shall be taken or damaged for public or private use without just compensation having been first made, or paid into court for the owner, and no right-of-way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation other than municipal until full compensation therefor be first made in money, or ascertained and paid into court for the owner, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation, which compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived, as in other civil cases in courts of record, in the manner prescribed by law.

    Whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such, without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public: Provided, That the taking of private property by the state for land reclamation and settlement purposes is hereby declared to be for public use.[AMENDMENT 9, 1919 p 385 Section 1. Approved November, 1920.]



Subject: SOS on ELST
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:32:39 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov, "Sullivan, Cynthia" cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov, "Miller, Louise" louise.miller@metrokc.gov, "Phillips, Larry" larry.phillips@metrokc.gov, "Pelz, Dwight" dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov, "McKenna, Rob" rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov, "vonReichbauer, Pete" pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov, "Nickels, Greg" greg.nickels@metrokc.gov, "Pullen, Kent" kent.pullen@metrokc.gov, "Gossett, Larry" larry.gossett@metrokc.gov, "Hague, Jane" jane.hague@metrokc.gov, "Derdowski, Brian" brian.derdowski@metrokc.gov, "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov CC: Vesely jves-new@seatimes.com, Eastside Journal letterstoeditor@eastsidejournal.com, Issaquah Press isspress@accessone.com, Seattle Times opinion@seatimes.com, elst@metrokc.gov, al.dams@metrokc.gov, David Eldred david.eldred@metrokc.gov, "Welsh, Dick" dick@halcyon.com, Craig and Tammy Owens crowens@paccar.com, Lisa Mitchell LisaMitchell@compuserve.com, Waggoner ewaggoner@accessone.com, Beres WATERLILLY2@msn.com, Mike Rundle mikerun@exchange.microsoft.com, "Locke, Gary" Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov, "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Sims and King County Council,

With the track removal being completed on East Lake Sammamish, it is close to the time that you will begin to establish the trail.

I am reminding you again that Washington State Law and the Washington State Constitution do not allow you to establish a trail on reversionary property without first compensating the owner. When you purchased the railroad right-of-way from BNSF/TLC, you acknowledged their phony $40 million donation of the reversionary land. This is land that BNSF/TLC did not own. They only had a right-of-way for railroad purposes. Now you are faced with paying that $40 million to the actual owners, the reversionary owners along the right-of-way.

This fact has been pointed out to you a number of times, but you provide no explanation for your apparent decision to simply ignore the law and steal my property.

Do not set foot on my reversionary land for purposes of a trail until you satisfy the conditions of the law, or convince me otherwise.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999 09:55:25 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov
CC: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Locke, Gary" Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov, "Sullivan, Cynthia" cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov, "Miller, Louise" louise.miller@metrokc.gov, "Phillips, Larry" larry.phillips@metrokc.gov, "Pelz, Dwight" dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov, "McKenna, Rob" rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov, "vonReichbauer, Pete" pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov, "Nickels, Greg" greg.nickels@metrokc.gov, "Pullen, Kent" kent.pullen@metrokc.gov, "Gossett, Larry" larry.gossett@metrokc.gov, "Hague, Jane" jane.hague@metrokc.gov, "Derdowski, Brian" brian.derdowski@metrokc.gov, "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov, Vesely ; Eastside Journal ; Issaquah Press ; Seattle Times ;

Dear Mr. Eldred,

I've read the interim East Lake Sammamish Trail report and find no section on compensation to the reversionary landowners.

As the principal lawyer for ELST, I've written to you, repeatedly, that any act to establish the trail without payment to the reversionary landowners first, is a violation of Washington State law and the Washington State Constitution.

You, in turn, have written to me in the past that you have a "clear view" of the legal situation with respect to ELST. Now is the time for you to spell out your "clear view" to me, in detail. It's time to show me "chapter and verse" of exactly where in the law you derive the right to take my reversionary land without compensation. You need to quote the law exactly and explain your interpretation. You need to explain why you believe you can throw out Washington State property law and the Constitution in this case. As you should know, property rights traditionally lie with the states, so you need to show, specifically, where the federal law denies the Washington State defined right to compensation for this taking. A vague, general statement like you gave in the past won't cut it. I don't think you know the law, but instead, are relying on outdated advice from lawyers like Peter Goldman of the TLC. Now is the time to prove me wrong. With all the lawyers and legal resources of King County to help, you should have no trouble giving a "clear" explanation of your legal position . Let's see you do it.

I've told you in the past, and I repeat it now, do not step foot on my reversionary property for the purpose of a trail without paying compensation or providing an acceptable explanation for your actions. That's the law. This applies to you and any other County employee. This is going to get very ugly if you try to take my land in violation of the law. I've worked long and hard for what I've saved in this life. Much of that is invested in my property. You want to illegally take a large portion of that investment without compensation. That won't happen without a fight.

Mr. Eldred, explain in specific detail where you derive the legal right to take my reversionary property for a trail without compensation.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: ELST-Crime in Progress
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 08:12:50 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov
CC: Sims, Ron ron.sims@metrokc.gov; Fimia, Maggi maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov; Sullivan, Cynthia cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov; Miller, Louise louise.miller@metrokc.gov; Phillips, Larry larry.phillips@metrokc.gov; Pelz, Dwight dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov; McKenna, Rob rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov; vonReichbauer, Pete pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov; Nickels, Greg greg.nickels@metrokc.gov; Pullen, Kent kent.pullen@metrokc.gov; Gossett, Larry larry.gossett@metrokc.gov; Hague, Jane jane.hague@metrokc.gov; Derdowski, Brian brian.derdowski@metrokc.gov; Vance, Chris chris.vance@metrokc.gov; Locke, Gary Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov; elst@metrokc.gov elst@metrokc.gov; al.dams@metrokc.gov al.dams@metrokc.gov; David Eldred david.eldred@metrokc.gov; Dyer HonPDyer5@aol.com; Vesely jves-new@seatimes.com; Eastside Journal letterstoeditor@eastsidejournal.com; Issaquah Press isspress@accessone.com; Seattle Times opinion@seatimes.com

Dear Sheriff Reichert,

I'd like to report a crime in progress on East Lake Sammamish, and express my concern that you may be one of the criminals.

Your boss, Mr. Ron Sims, and the King County Council are intending to steal over $500,000 in property from my wife and me, in direct violation of Washington State Law. This involves the taking of my land for a recreation trail, the ELST. My wife and I own reversionary land along Lake Sammamish that has an easement for railroad use. The County has expressed their willingness to steal that land rather than obey the law and compensate us for the new easement that is required for the trail. I've written a number of letters to Mr. Sims, the Council, the Governor and to Mr. Eldred, the lawyer for ELST, demanding that they obey the law or explain to me why they are not. The only significant reply was from Mr. Eldred, stating in vague terms that this was not an issue. I've asked that he explicitly show where in the law he finds justification for his actions. He has refused to reply.

I do not intend to allow the County to take my land in violation of Washington State law. I've repeatedly notified the County to stay off my land for purposes of the trail, or to justify their actions to me. I should point out that the County presently holds the railroad easement that crosses my property and has the right to enter the land for that purpose. As you probably know, the County is presently removing the tracks and ties, an action allowed by that easement.

Sheriff Reichert, when the County enters my land in violation of Washington State law and I call 911 for assistance, are you going to be a law enforcement officer or a politician? Are you going to remove the County employees for illegal trespass, or are you going to illegally arrest me on phony charges? I ask you, now, to familiarize yourself with this situation and commit yourself to enforce the law. I don't want to get into a fight, but I'll defend my property against illegal confiscation by whatever force I can muster. It goes without saying that you have no moral or legal right to enforce an illegal action by the County. I have been very up front about this situation for months, and have yet to have any explanation or meaningful exchange from the County. It appears their plan is to simply ignore my legitimate protest, and steal my property. I will not allow that to happen. This needs to be dealt with now.

Do you place enforcement of the law above your loyalty to the King County leadership? Will you enforce the law and remove the County employees that illegally enter my reversionary property to establish the trail?

For reference, I list below the Washington State law that King County is ignoring, a quote from the Washington State Supreme Court, and quotes from the Washington State Constitution. I would be willing to quote for you the law King County is using to justify their actions, but they are unwilling to provide it to me.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    Reference:

    RCW 64.04.180 Railroad properties as public utility and transportation corridors--Declaration of availability for public use--Acquisition of reversionary interest. Railroad properties, including but not limited to rights-of-way, land held in fee and used for railroad operations, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities, are declared to be suitable for public use upon cessation of railroad operations on the properties. It is in the public interest of the state of Washington that such properties retain their character as public utility and transportation corridors, and that they may be made available for public uses including highways, other forms of mass transportation, conservation, energy production or transmission, or recreation. Nothing in this section or in RCW 64.04.190 authorizes a public agency or utility to acquire reversionary interests in public utility and transportation corridors without payment of just compensation. [1988 c 16 § 1; 1984 c 143 § 22.]

    RCW 64.04.190 Public utility and transportation corridors-- Defined. Public utility and transportation corridors are railroad properties (1) on which railroad operations have ceased; (2) that have been found suitable for public use by an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States; and (3) that have been acquired by purchase, lease, donation, exchange, or other agreement by the state, one of its political subdivisions, or a public utility. [1988 c 16 § 2; 1984 c 143 § 23.]

    "King County cannot acquire the [ ] right of way from Burlington Northern without payment of just compensation to the reversionary interest holders. If the County takes this right of way and commences to build a recreation trail, it does so in violation of the constitution." (Quote from Lawson v. State, Washington State Supreme Court 1986)

    Washington State Constitution
    ARTICLE I, DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

    SECTION 3 PERSONAL RIGHTS.
    No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

    SECTION 16 EMINENT DOMAIN.
    Private property shall not be taken for private use, except for private ways of necessity, and for drains, flumes, or ditches on or across the lands of others for agricultural, domestic, or sanitary purposes. No private property shall be taken or damaged or public or private use without just compensation having been first made, or paid into court for the owner, and no right-of-way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation other than municipal until full compensation therefor be first made in money, or ascertained and paid into court for the owner, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation, which compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived, as in other civil cases in courts of record, in the manner prescribed by law. Whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such, without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public: Provided, That the taking of private property by the state for land reclamation and settlement purposes is hereby declared to be for public use.[AMENDMENT 9, 1919 p 385 Section 1. Approved November, 1920.]



Subject: Rasmussen
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 11:40:25 -0700
From: "Aiken, Kyle" Kyle.Aiken@METROKC.GOV
To: "'Issyras@ibm.net'" Issyras@ibm.net
CC: "Foy, Sue" Sue.Foy@METROKC.GOV

Mr. Rasmussen,

Sheriff Reichert asked me to send this letter to you.


Kyle Aiken
King County Sheriff's Office
Legal Unit
Sammamish.doc

    Sammamish.doc Name: Sammamish.doc Type: Winword File

    Dear Mr. Rasmussen:

    Thank you for your August 11,1999 e-mail expressing your opinions about the County’s actions on the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

    RCW 36.28.010 empowers me to perform the following duties

    (1) Shall arrest and commit to prison all persons who break the peace, or attempt to break it, and all persons guilty of public offenses;

    (2) Shall defend the county against those who, by riot or otherwise, endanger the public peace or safety;

    (3) Shall execute the process and orders of the courts of justice or judicial officers, when delivered for that purpose, according to law;

    (4) Shall execute all warrants delivered for that purpose by other public officers, according to the provisions of particular statutes;

    (5) Shall attend the sessions of the courts of record held within the county, and obey their lawful orders or directions;

    (6) Shall keep and preserve the peace in their respective counties, and quiet and suppress all affrays, riots, unlawful assemblies and insurrections, for which purpose, and for the service of process in civil or criminal cases, and in apprehending or securing any person for felony or breach of the peace, they may call to their aid such persons, or power of their county as they may deem necessary.

    Aside from enforcing court orders, I am not empowered to enter into civil disputes such as the dispute you and your neighbors are in with the County over the Sammamish Trail. My deputies will keep the peace and enforce any applicable court orders.

    Thank you again for your e-mail.

    Sincerely,

    David G. Reichert
    King County Sheriff



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 15:32:04 -0700
From: "McKenna, Rob" Rob.McKenna@METROKC.GOV
To: "'freedman@u.washington.edu'" freedman@u.washington.edu, "'mmatyjas@claytongrp.com'" mmatyjas@claytongrp.com, "'joyce@financialprtnr.com'" joyce@financialprtnr.com, "'Crowens@hotmail.com'" Crowens@hotmail.com, "'bkpasko@hotmail.com'" bkpasko@hotmail.com, "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net, "'mikerun@exchange.microsoft.com'" mikerun@exchange.microsoft.com, "'John_F_Shaw@email.msn.com'" John_F_Shaw@email.msn.com, "'iba@isomedia.com'" iba@isomedia.com, "'Rwentworth@aol.com'" Rwentworth@aol.com, "'blairemy@msn.com'" blairemy@msn.com

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your email concerning the East Lake Sammamish Trail. My top priority is guaranteeing an open, fair and public process for all concerned citizens. There should be no interim use of the railroad right-of-way until a thorough environmental review has been completed and accepted, including an assessment of trail impacts on adjoining property owners. I appreciate your input about how best to proceed in this important matter. If you have questions, please feel free to contact my office at (206) 296-1006 or send email.

Sincerely,

Rob McKenna



Subject: RE: Obeying the Law
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 16:38:21 -0700
From: "Fimia, Maggi" Maggi.Fimia@METROKC.GOV
To: "'johnras@ibm.net'" johnras@ibm.net

August 16, 1999

Thank you for voicing your concerns to me about the East Lake Sammamish Trail. Because of the volume of letters and e-mail I have received regarding the trail, I cannot respond individually to everyone. I would like to share my position on the Trail with you here. I have personally met with members of the bike community, members of the community adjacent to the trail and staff from King County Parks. I have walked parts of the trail with Parks' staff and homeowners and discussed interim and permanent trail issues with other Councilmembers. I attended the open house in Sammamish where the County Executive presented the Interim Plan. All these conversations shape my position on the East Lake Sammamish Trail. I support construction of a separated trail along the Lake connecting to other trails. It's a good project that deserves attention for its timely completion.

The majority of the King County Council approved money for acquisition and planning for the East Lake Sammamish Trail. It is included in the Council's Comprehensive and Recreation and Open Space Plans. I have supported all that legislation. The Executive proposed interim use prior to the master plan process to help keep the county and public focused on making the trail a reality. However, interim use of a regional trail prior to the master plan process is unprecedented in King County. As such, interim use requires strict Council and public scrutiny so that key safety and environmental issues are addressed. I will consider opening parts of or the entire corridor if the Executive can demonstrate that these concerns are met by the interim plan.

As a Councilmember, my job is to ask, " how exactly will the interim plan work?" Questioning, analyzing, debating, and allowing additional public input is part of the legislative process. Currently, I have substantial questions about opening the entire corridor given the proposed maintenance and operational measures. The draft interim plan assumes a tremendous amount of volunteer help with maintenance; relies on posted signs for compliance with safety and privacy rules; contains no plans for immediate parking management; and relies on existing levels of enforcement for compliance with environmental regulation. I know from my past experience on the Council that it's difficult to get compliance in many of these areas. Violations of King County building codes have already occurred. The County can do better. Generating solutions to these problems, which includes analysis of alternative trail alignments, is my job. The north and south ends of the trail are not in question by the great majority of stakeholders. It may be possible to open these up to both pedestrians and bikes in the interim period, a possibility I will explore with my colleagues and Council staff in the coming weeks.

I respect the work undertaken to date by the Citizens Advisory Group and the expertise of Executive and Parks staff. However, I will also remain open to other points of view as I seek to resolve the issues outlined above. At this time, I still hear from large numbers of stakeholders, both trail neighbors and the bike community, who are not happy with the interim proposal. Comparisons between East Lake Sammamish and other trail projects, such as the Burke-Gilman, help identify and define parameters for compromise of public and private space. Among the issues I am considering is the size and location of private backyards impacted by the proposed trail alignment and efforts to minimize impact on privacy.

My analysis will also draw on recommendations in the County-published 1986 Bikeway/Pedestrian Trail Corridor Study by K. E. Cottingham, transportation engineer. After extensive public process and engineering analysis of several alternatives, he recommended building a trail in three phases:

1. Class II bike lane-combined with County Parkway -County has striped for bike lanes

2. Class I bike lane-combined with the County Parkway- "This facility on county right-of-way will be needed in those sections of the trail corridor where it is not practical or feasible to follow the railroad R/W." "Since a physical barrier will be constructed and the facility placed entirely on the west side of the parkway, it qualifies as a Class I facility, and utilized when railroad R/W is not used."

3. Class I Bike Lane-Separated from County Parkway future plan on Railroad R/W "Using the railroad right-of-way provides the least expensive, most desirable bicycle/trail facility and, where it is least disruptive to adjacent property owners, is the recommended plan." pp. 22-23

Questioning the interim plan does not constitute opposition to the trail. Moreover, framing the public debate over the East Lake Sammamish Trail in this way is destined to be divisive and expensive, delay the building of a final trail, and threaten interim use. I am a long-time proponent of community and regional trails. I have been the lead on getting the Interurban Trail back on track for additional funding and construction. I opposed changes to the Richmond Beach Bluff Trail by adjacent residents after determining their requests uncompromising. I support the East Lake Sammamish Trail. I will not support, however, prematurely opening a trail up to public use before the safety and environmental issues have sufficiently been addressed.

Designing, funding, constructing and maintaining almost 12 miles of a paved, multi-use trail along waterfront is not a simple "us vs. them" issue. We will be successful only by working together on realistic solutions to the legitimate issues raised by neighbors of the trail and others who want to use it as soon as possible, but do not live on it. I would greatly appreciate your help and commitment to that end.

Sincerely,

Maggi Fimia

Councilmember, District One



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 08:21:38 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: "Fimia, Maggi" Maggi.Fimia@METROKC.GOV
CC: "'johnras@ibm.net'" johnras@ibm.net
References: 1

Ms. Fimia,

You, Council and Sims are in violation of the law in establishing the ELST. I've pointed this out a number of times.

All your plans for the trail are nice, but you have to have a legal right to the land first. That is your first step. Obey RCW 64.04.180 and compensate the reversionary landowners. There is no compromise there.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: Official Property Value Notice
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 21:07:32 -0700
From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
To: Assessor.Info@metrokc.gov

To: King County Dept. of Assessments;

Please explain to us how you determined the increased value of our house and our land. After talking to our neighbors, we realize everyone has some differing percentage of increase and some homeowner's land even went down. We are very confused and would like some clarity on this shocking increase. Our home is modest, and built in the late 50's; and the King County government is making it hard for us to enjoy our property under their threat of a trail in the middle of our yard. How can you possibly say we have such an increased value when we feel our home is about to be ruined by the County's plan to send many people in front of our deck and all of our large glass windows. Not one person has come to us in order to explain why they are trespassing on our land, nor what is planned for our safety. They have never addressed the issue of injury liability if/when someone should get hurt in our yard after they encourage useage before Master Planning they promised us several times in years past. They have totally ignored our questions about just compensation under Wa. State Law when the use of the easement is changed in order to build a public trail in our yard. Some increase in value! Thank you for responding.

Sincerely, Nancy A. Rasmussen Account # 062406-9076-00



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail, Draft EIS
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 15:36:45 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: dcfm.sepacomments@metrokc.gov
CC: Fimia, Maggi maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov; Sullivan, Cynthia cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov; Miller, Louise louise.miller@metrokc.gov; Phillips, Larry larry.phillips@metrokc.gov; Pelz, Dwight dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov; McKenna, Rob rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov; vonReichbauer, Pete pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov; Nickels, greg greg.nickels@metrokc.gov; pullen, kent kent.pullen@metrokc.gov; Gossett, Larry larry.gossett@metrokc.gov; hague, jane jane.hague@metrokc.gov; derdowski, brian brian.derdowski@metrokc.gov; Vance, Chris chris.vance@metrokc.gov; Locke, Gary Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov; Sims, Ron ron.sims@metrokc.gov; Maleng, Norm Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov; Vesely jves-new@seatimes.com; Eastside Journal letterstoeditor@eastsidejournal.com; Issaquah Press isspress@accessone.com; Seattle Times opinion@seatimes.com; Dyer HonPDyer5@aol.com

To: Cheryl Fambles Director, Department of Construction Facilities and Management
From: John Rasmussen 1605 E. Lk. Sammamish Place S.E., Sammamish, WA
Subject: Written Comments on the Draft EIS, East Lake Sammamish Trail

Dear Ms. Fambles,

My wife and I own the land under the railroad easement across our property on East Lake Sammamish. The easement allows only railroad use. If you want to put a trail on that easement, you must deal with the ownership issue first. This is required of you by Washington State law and the Washington State Constitution. There will be no further compromise or good will involved in the resolution of this issue. King County leadership has been reminded of this situation many times without any resulting discussion or resolution, and you now inherit the results of their illegal and immoral behavior. Do not step foot on the railroad easement for purposes of the trail without our permission.

Perhaps a short history will help you understand this situation. Burlington Northern owned only three or four properties along Lake Sammamish, fee simple, but falsely claimed they owned all the property under the twelve mile easement. When the railroad was sold to TLC, and then King County, Burlington Northern transferred what it actually owned for a more than fair price, and then they got TLC and King County to acknowledge a phony donation of the remainder of the easement property. This "donation" allowed BN a tax write-off of about $40,000,000 for land they did not own, with the written acknowledgment of King County. I don't have the political power, time, or money necessary to prove this in court, but there is no other explanation for these actions. This is common in Rails-to-Trials transactions because the U.S. Congress gave great leverage to the railroads, and local officials compromise their principles and the law to get their trails. I don't know if the officials of King County are incompetent or if they are crooks, with respect to this crime. If they are knowingly part of this fraud, those King County officials need to take responsibility for their illegal actions. This would include Gary Locke, Ron Sims, Norm Maleng and the Council.

Ms. Fambles, perhaps you could help me here. Do you think your bosses at King County are incompetent, or do you think they are crooks and should be in prison? There really isn't another choice.

Continuing on with the this sad saga, after our "leaders" at King County enabled Burlington Northern to rip-off the American taxpayer for about $15,000,000, the County essentially excluded the reversionary landowners from the trail planning process. We were banned from the Citizens Advisory Group. At a meeting I attended, public comments were timed with a stopwatch, and the speaker cutoff after two minutes. King County is stealing over $500,000 in property from my wife and me, and we're allowed two minutes to address this very complex issue. Every letter I've written has essentially been ignored. The idea that we have been allowed to be part of the process is absurd.

It's easy to understand why King County officials have taken this course. If King County can claim ownership of the land under the right-of-way, it doesn't have to worry about RCW 64.04.180/190. Those laws require payment to the reversionary owners before a trail can be established. Further, King County, TLC, and Burlington Northern are going to be in a lot of trouble if it gets proved they conspired to defraud the American taxpayer for millions. I believe they are counting on their teams of lawyers, their political power, and the complexity of this legal issue to keep them out of prison. Of course the best part of this scam is that it is left to the individual landowners, such as my wife and me, to deal with the situation. They count on the public at large to not care what dishonesty has transpired as long as they get their bicycle trail. "The end justifies the means." Sadly, this has become King County's motto.

So, Ms. Fambles, you now inherit this mess. I warn you again. Do not step foot on my reversionary property until you pay compensation for the taking, as required by law. If your employees decide to enter my property, I will assume they are there for illegal purposes and use whatever force is necessary to protect myself, and eject them. I've tried very hard to not be put in this situation. I have been very straightforward and tried to deal with this for months, while King County has tried to hide their crooked dealings from the public and stonewalled every effort by me to resolve the issue. There is no longer any compromise or goodwill left.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: Re: East Lake Sammamish Trail, Draft EIS
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 20:42:20 EST
From: HonPDyer5@aol.com
To: issyras@attglobal.net

Mr. Rasmussen,

Thank you for forwarding your email to me. As you know, I have been trying to add a bit of reason and fairness to the process, with albeit slow and minor progress. Your frustrations are shared by many of your neighbors, and if you have not been in contact with the group of similarly minded property owners affected by the trail process , I would strongly recommend that you get in touch with them. Ms. Vicki Beres for one, is very knowledgeable and quite helpful.

Phil Dyer



Subject: Statement
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 14:38:09 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Eldred:

I've read this statement in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer September 28, 1999 issue. "...David Eldred, a county attorney, said he has no doubt the county owns the entire right of way." As you know this refers to ELST.

Did you make that statement? Do you stand by that statement?

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: [Fwd: Statement]
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 13:29:03 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov
CC: "Maleng, Norm" Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov

Mr. Eldred,

Would you please answer my letter?

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    Subject: Statement
    Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 14:38:09 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

    Dear Mr. Eldred:

    I've read this statement in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer September 28, 1999 issue. "...David Eldred, a county attorney, said he has no doubt the county owns the entire right of way." As you know this refers to ELST.

    Did you make that statement? Do you stand by that statement?

    Sincerely,

    John Rasmussen



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 17:10:50 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Maleng, Norm" Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov
CC: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Maleng,

The lawyer you have assigned to the East Lake Sammamish Trail project, Mr. David Eldred, has been quoted in local newspapers as saying the County claims ownership of all the land under the East Lake Sammamish railroad right-of-way.

I've written to him, twice, asking him to confirm this statement, but he refuses to answer.

Mr. Maleng, perhaps you will answer the question. Is King County claiming it owns all the land under the old Burlington Northern easement along East Lake Sammamish? I own lakefront property bisected by that easement, and I'm wondering if you are claiming ownership of my reversionary property.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: ELST
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 15:59:37 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov
CC: "Maleng, Norm" Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov

Dear Mr. Eldred,

It appears that you are making decisions about the East lake Sammamish Trail that are illegal, and are hurting me and my family. We need to meet, and you need to explain directly to me exactly what you are doing and what justification you have for your actions.

Please offer a time that we can meet.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 20:43:51 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov
CC: "Fimia, Maggi" maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov, "Sullivan, Cynthia" cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov, "Miller, Louise" louise.miller@metrokc.gov, "Phillips, Larry" larry.phillips@metrokc.gov, "Pelz, Dwight" dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov, "McKenna, Rob" rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov, "vonReichbauer, Pete" pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov, "Nickels, Greg" greg.nickels@metrokc.gov, "Pullen, Kent" kent.pullen@metrokc.gov, "Gossett, Larry" larry.gossett@metrokc.gov, "Hague, Jane" jane.hague@metrokc.gov, "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov, David Irons david.irons@metrokc.gov, "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, johnras@attglobal.net

Mr. David Irons
District 12 Representative
King County Council, Washington

Dear Mr. Irons,

I believe my rights are being violated by King County government and I ask your help.

My wife, Nancy, and I own property along East Lake Sammamish that is bisected by the old Burlington Northern right-of-way. Recently, Mr. David Eldred, the County attorney assigned to the East Lake Sammamish Trail project, has been quoted in the local newspapers stating the County owns all the land under the easement. This is a lie, but, more than that, a lie that harms and threatens my family.

After reading his statement, I wrote Mr. Eldred, twice, asking him to confirm that the County is claiming title to my reversionary property. He refused to answer. So, I wrote Mr. Norm Maleng with the same question. He refused to answer my question, too. Why? What does the prosecutor's office have to hide?

I support the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

I need to make it clear from the first that this letter is not in opposition to the East Lake Sammamish Trail. I'm an avid bicycler, and have ridden thousands of miles in the East Lake Sammamish area over the last twenty years. Further, my wife and I have been willing to make compromises to establish the trail from the beginning. However the law, and my property rights must be recognized for that process to go forward.

Criminal Activity by King County Prosecutors:

If King county truly owned all the land under the easement you would think Mr. Eldred and Mr. Maleng would be forthcoming and helpful in clearing up any misunderstandings about ownership. I believe they are so closed mouthed about this matter because they could end up in prison if the truth comes out. Perhaps a short history will help you understand this situation. Burlington Northern owned just several properties along Lake Sammamish, fee simple, but falsely claimed they owned all the property under the twelve mile easement. This is reflected in the appraisal by Arthur Andersen LLP dated December 10, 1996. When the railroad was sold to TLC, and then King County, Burlington Northern transferred what it actually owned for a more than fair price, and then got TLC to acknowledge a phony donation of the remainder of the property under the easement. TLC, in turn, had King County acknowledge the same donation in the transfer to the County. This "donation" allowed BNSF a tax write-off of about $40,000,000 for land it did not own. Burlington Northern needed the acknowledgment of TLC and/or the officials at King County to show proof of the donation to the IRS. I believe Mr. Maleng, Mr. Eldred and the other involved lawyers from the prosecutor's office are making this false claim of ownership because admitting the truth would make them liable for their part in this tax fraud. A fraudulent $40,000,000 tax write-off for BNSF would rip off the American taxpayer for about $15,000,000. Since the actual value of the right-of-way was worth only about $1,000,000, one can see that the real money for the railroads in Rails-to-Trails transactions is in illegal tax write-offs. I don't have the resources to cause this to be investigated, Mr. Irons, but you do.

Phony Crossing Fees:

Another reason King County wants to falsely claim title to the property is so it can charge the adjacent residents a fee to cross the trail. It's a little hard to charge folks a fee to cross their own property, so King County simply claims it owns the land and is now setting the crossing fees. As proof that the County does not own the land comes forward, Mr. Sims is suddenly becoming nicer to the residents about these fees. I believe Mr. Sims does not do this out of kindness, but rather to soften his political embarrassment when he has to eventually admit he has no legal right to charge these fees. On the other hand, if the County can get the adjacent residents to believe the myth it owns the land, after a legal waiting period, the County would be able to sue for possession.

"Hear no Evil"

A number of people along the Lake have hired Graddon Consulting to investigate the ownership issue. When it became obvious to Stephen Graddon that King County did not own easement land that he was researching, he tried to approach the County to make his results available. Among others, a meeting was scheduled to discuss this with Mr. Howard Schneiderman from the prosecutor's office. That meeting was abruptly canceled and phone calls requesting an explanation have not been returned to Mr. Graddon. This reminds me of the little monkey with his hands over his ears...the "hear no evil" monkey. The Prosecutor's office seems to believe that it can shield itself from responsibility for its actions by refusing to hear the truth. At the very least, this is "stonewalling" by the prosecutor's office to deny us our rights.

Failure of Fiscal Responsibility:

Of course Mr. Sims and your Council desperately want the County to somehow own all the land under the easement, because if it doesn't, the County will have paid way too much money for what it got in the purchase. The value of the railroad consisted of land that Burlington Northern owned, fee simple, and the salvage value of the rails, ties and structures. This value was appraised at $997,260 by RIRPA. TLC and BNSF fixed the value at $1,500,000. King County paid almost $3,000,000 for a large portion, but not the whole length. That means that the County paid about three to four times what the railroad was worth. I believe it is typical for railroad companies to inflate the value as they did with TLC, because they have so much leverage in these situations. The railroad companies threaten to allow the easement to expire and full use of the land to return to it's owners, usually the adjacent landowner. The Rails-to-Trails act withholds this reversion if a group, like TLC, purchases the railroad. So, Burlington Northern used this leverage to drive up the price. TLC then inflated the price again when it sold the railroad to the County. The only way King County can justify paying three or four times what the railroad is worth is to claim they got all the land under the easement, fee simple, in the purchase. The land in question was valued at about $40,000,000 by Arthur Anderson LLP in the BNSF appraisal. If the County can establish ownership of all, or even part of this land, Mr. Sims and Council won't have to explain to the taxpayers why the County was so careless with their money.

Ignoring Washington State Law:

Then, there is the problem with RCW 64.04.180 and 190. That is the Washington State law that requires payment to reversionary landowners for taking of rails-to-trails property. If King County claims it owns the land, it can avoid its responsibility under this law. But, if the County does not own the land, it violates the law. This is another reason I believe King County is falsely claiming ownership. I print that law at the bottom of this letter for your reference.

Mean Spirited Politicians:

King County has been very mean-spirited to the lakeside owners in its handling of the trail. We were excluded from the Citizen's Advisory Board for a phony reason. With $40,000,000 of property at stake, we were timed with a stopwatch and cut off after two minutes when we brought our concerns to the County at public meetings. I've asked for explanations many times from the County and have never had a meaningful reply. Mr. Eldred did write me once to explain that the "...County's position with respect to this right of way is clear." When I challenged him to explain his clear vision, he simply refused to reply. The only thing that is "clear" is that Mr. Eldred feels he has no obligation to explain the harm he is doing to my family. Apparently the residents of this County exist to serve the needs of the County's officials, rather than the other way around. The County is stealing my life's savings, represented by my property investment, and is mean-spirited and evasive when asked to explain.

Show me the title!

Of course another possibility is that the County actually has title to the land. If that is the case, show me! I'm looking for one honest man (or woman) in King County government that can look me in the eye and explain what legal right the County has to claim my property. I've yet to find one.

Mr. Irons, would you please provide the answers to these questions for me?

On what basis does King County claim ownership of the land under the BNSF easement on my property? My wife and I have title showing ownership of our reversionary property under the railroad easement. Further, because of the outrageous action of King County I have felt required to spend about $7,000 to research every aspect of the initial easement grant and all the title changes to the present day. That research shows King County is violating my rights with its actions. The Prosecutor's office refuses to even look at that evidence. Do you see something wrong here?

What research was made on property ownership before the County signed acknowledgment of a "donation" of my property from BNSF/TLC in the rails-to-trails transaction? My guess is that the prosecutor's office did not look into the ownership issue of even one property that was "donated" by BNSF. Several properties were clearly owned, fee simple, by BNSF. I'm not referring to those properties here. I believe the prosecutor's office didn't want to look into these "donated" properties because it would then be liable for that knowledge. I believe that the prosecutor's office is looking for deniability here. That isn't honest, and may be criminal.

If County officials and bureaucrats seem evasive in their answers to your questions, would you sponsor an outside, independent investigation of this situation?

Would you release, in specific detail, the justification for the inflated payment the County made for the right-of-way? A few months ago the County conducted an audit of the ELST transaction, but did not release the specifics. I believe this is a cover-up. We, the taxpayers, want to know exactly how the auditors came to the conclusion that the County paid a fair price. I believe the success of the audit is based on the property the County now falsely claims, and will not discuss...my reversionary property, and that of the other residents along ELS.

How is King County going to make up for the harm it has done to the residents along East Lake Sammamish as we are forced to prove our ownership of this reversionary property?

Will you call for Mr. Maleng's resignation if he proves to be involved in this fraud?

Mr. Irons, you're new to the King County Council and you were not in county government when these events happened. Are you going to deal away my rights, and hide this shameful activity, to prove to your fellow council members that you're a team player? Somebody needs to let the King County government know that it is not business as usual in this County to violate the law, and its constituent's rights.

Sadly, this immoral attack on the landowners along East Lake Sammamish is explainable because the County believes it is in a no lose situation. If King County can convince the landowners that it owns their property, the County will gain a windfall of millions of dollars of land, and then will be able to charge those same folks to cross their own property. If the County loses this unjustified claim, it will still be a hero to the advocacy groups, and to the public, for trying to provide a trail. The only way for the County to lose is for the truth to be known. That truth is that King County government is illegally turning its resources against a few of its constituents for political gain. Mr. Irons, I believe you are an honest person and I ask for your help to expose the truth.

When the Rails-to-Trails act was challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1990, the Court spelled out how a claim could be made at the Federal level. Yet, sixteen years after the Rails-to-Trails act was passed, no reversionary landowner has received compensation for the taking of his land, to my knowledge. Thousands of Americans have essentially had their land stolen by this Act. This is because each individual landowner has had to take on the combined resources of the railroads, advocacy groups and the local governments to prove their loss. You can see this happening with the events here in King County. Further, these groups play "musical chairs" with the legal system, forcing the cases between the state and federal courts at great expense and delay to the legitimate owners. I believe King County won't speak to me because they know they can bury us with years of waiting in the courts, stress, and legal bills we cannot afford. They are right about that, but that is an immoral use of our legal system. King County won't be using the courts to settle this dispute, it will be using the courts to control the situation, delay justice, and violate our rights. I believe that is why the prosecutor's office refuses to talk to us. That's wrong.

Mr. Irons I wonder if you truly understand the power you and your fellow council members have to harm the people you serve, and, therefore, the responsibility you have to represent their interests and legal rights? King County can probably steal much of the land along East Lake Sammamish from its owners by doing what I've described above. This is dishonest. I ask you as my representative to not allow that to happen to us. Realistically, you are the only chance many of us have for justice.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    RCW 64.04.180 Railroad properties as public utility and transportation corridors--Declaration of availability for public use--Acquisition of reversionary interest. Railroad properties, including but not limited to rights-of-way, land held in fee and used for railroad operations, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities, are declared to be suitable for public use upon cessation of railroad operations on the properties. It is in the public interest of the state of Washington that such properties retain their character as public utility and transportation corridors, and that they may be made available for public uses including highways, other forms of mass transportation, conservation, energy production or transmission, or recreation. Nothing in this section or in RCW 64.04.190 authorizes a public agency or utility to acquire reversionary interests in public utility and transportation corridors without payment of just compensation. [1988 c 16 § 1; 1984 c 143 § 22.]

    RCW 64.04.190 Public utility and transportation corridors-- Defined. Public utility and transportation corridors are railroad properties (1) on which railroad operations have ceased; (2) that have been found suitable for public use by an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States; and (3) that have been acquired by purchase, lease, donation, exchange, or other agreement by the state, one of its political subdivisions, or a public utility. [1988 c 16 § 2; 1984 c 143 § 23.]



Subject: RE: "The Trail of Shame" (ELST)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 07:36:54 -0800
From: "Irons, David" David.Irons@METROKC.GOV
To: "'issyras@attglobal.net'" issyras@attglobal.net

John

Thank you for your e-mail and for standing up for your rights. Please call me if I can be of help.

Thank You

David Irons
King County Council
12th District
206-296-1012 Office
206-296-0198 Fax



Subject: ELST
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 21:05:49 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Irons, David" davidi@ccpi.net

Hi David,

First, let me apologize for asking Nancy to call you at home tonight, but I received a call from Tim Larson at the Eastside Journal that needs an answer tonight or tomorrow. I know your family is very important to you, and your time with them is a refuge from the stress of your job. I'm sorry to disrupt that.

I received an e-mail from you today about a letter I wrote to The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce on the 22nd. I had been expecting, instead, a response to the letter I wrote to you January 18th. The letter on the 18th is very critical of the County's handling of the Trail, and points to evidence that the prosecutor's office may be involved in tax fraud. It is that letter that Tim Larson is calling about.

On the small chance that you did not receive the letter I wrote on the 18th, I'll copy it again at the bottom of this note.

You need to understand that I voted for you, and support you in your position at the County. I wrote the letter on the 18th, not to embarrass you, but to rather to get out, to the public, actions of the County that are simply illegal. It is fine for politicians to have political agendas that are different than mine, but it isn't acceptable for them to ignore the law and commit crimes. I believe that is happening at King County with respect to the Trail. Since the prosecutor's office appears to be involved in this illegal activity, you have to consider that their advice to you may be self-serving. I would suggest you turn to legal advice elsewhere if you need a legal opinion.

By the way, after I wrote the letter to you on the 18th, I was told that Vicki Beres has a copy of the title insurance policy that the County got for the Trail, and that the title insurance company refused to certify the County owned the land under the BNSF easement. I have not been able to verify that yet, but if it's true, it provides further proof the County is acting illegally in its claim of ownership. Further, the County is doing this with full knowledge of its wrongdoing.

I think that we should talk before I return the call to Tim Larson. He asked if you had responded to the letter I wrote on the 18th. I want to be able to tell Tim Larson that you are being responsive to my concerns. There is a chance that Mr. Larson sees this letter as a test of your commitment to make changes in how the ELS community is represented. It goes without saying that I hope you will make those changes too. As I wrote above, I don't want to embarrass you, but I intend to tell the truth to Tim Larson. I had written a note to Tim on the Saturday the 22nd, after he had a front page article about the Trail in the Eastside Journal. My comments to him were essentially what I wrote to the DJC on the same day. I also attached a copy of my letter to you on the 18th. That has prompted his call.

Nancy said that you would be able to talk tomorrow afternoon. I'll put off Tim Larson with an e-mail tonight explaining that I'll talk to him late tomorrow.

I'm not a public person, and would rather not get involved in a public debate. But, I believe the County has stepped over the line into criminal activity, and seems to believe they can get away with it. I don't intend to let that happen. I consider the County's actions on the Trail to be a personal attack on my family.

Hope to talk to you tomorrow afternoon.

Best Regards, John

John Rasmussen

    Reference:

    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 20:43:51 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov
    CC: Mr. Sims and King County Council

    Mr. David Irons
    District 12 Representative
    King County Council, Washington
    Dear Mr. Irons,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: Re: ELST
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 21:28:36 -0800
From: " David W. Irons" davidi@ccpi.net
To: issyras@attglobal.net
References: 1

John

Thanks for the letter. I read the whole thing and some of what you say is new to me, much is not. I will call you tomorrow around noon or close there after.

Thank You

David W. Irons
425-313-9536
425-391-0266 Fax

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Rasmussen
    To: Irons, David
    Sent: Monday, January 24, 2000 9:05 PM
    Subject: ELST

    Hi David,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: ELST
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 06:16:54 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: " David W. Irons" davidi@ccpi.net
References: 1 , 2

Hi David,

Thanks for taking the time to discuss the ELST with me yesterday afternoon. Nancy and I feel guilty about contacting you at your home the night before. We won't be making a habit of doing that.

After I talked to you, I returned the call to Tim Larson at the Eastside Journal. I thought he wanted to follow up on my concern that the K.C. prosecutor's office might be involved in tax fraud. He wasn't concerned with that portion of my letter to you. He is working on a story about the ownership issue along the railroad easement, which may be published as soon as this weekend. He was interested in what you had to say about the Trail, and how I felt about our conversation. I told him I was very pleased with the call, and you were the first, and only, official from the County that I had been able to have a discussion with about the Trail. I assume he is interested in how responsive you are to the residents along the Lake. He said he may call you very soon for your opinion.

I write this note to give you a "heads up" that he is going to call, and to let you know what I told him about our conversation.

Here's what I told him you said:

- Some of what I covered in my letter on the 18th was new to you, some was not.
- The ELST is one of your priorities.
- You believe that some property owners along the trail own the land under the easement, and you are aware that this opinion conflicts with statements made by the County prosecutor's office.
- There are County lawyers not associated with the prosecutor's office that can take an independent look at my concerns about tax fraud.
- You will give me a short written reply to my letter of the 18th, but it will take two to three weeks to fully evaluate the concerns I expressed.
- A new staff member, who starts on Monday will be assigned to monitor the ELST situation for you. Her name is Jennett. (Tim knew her last name, and that she had worked in Issaquah. You didn't give her last name to me.)

Here's what I told him I suggested to you:

- That possibly the ethics board could look into the actions of the prosecutor's office with respect to tax fraud. (I told him you were new and unfamiliar with the mechanics of that process.)
- I suggested that the Prosecutor's office provide a written report explaining their position on why the County claims all the land under the easement.

Tim Larson indicated to me that he intended to call you today or tomorrow.

I hope I characterized our conversation correctly. I told him that he should verify your statements with you.

As you know, I feel very strongly about the ugly, and possibly illegal, way King County is treating me and my family with respect to ELST. I greatly appreciate concerns for the situation.

Best regards, John



Subject: [Fwd: East Lake Sammamish Trail]
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 21:44:56 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: Dyer HonPDyer5@aol.com, Jack Barry jack.barry3@gte.net, Troy Romery TROYROM@aol.com, Don Gerend gerend@bigfoot.com, Kathy Huckabay Huckkathy@aol.com, Ron Haworth rhaworth@halcyon.com

Dear Mayor Barry and members of the City of Sammamish Council,

Many of us voted to form the City of Sammamish because of the disregard King County had for our needs, broken promises, and outright dishonesty by the County.

The attached letter addressed to David Irons spells out what I believe is more of that activity on the part of our County Government with respect to the East Lake Sammamish Trail. It also expresses my belief that there may be fraudulent activity by the County prosecutor's office.

I send this letter to you to keep you informed about this situation, and request any help you can give to resolve it.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    Attachment:

    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 20:43:51 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov
    CC: ---Listed above---

    Mr. David Irons
    District 12 Representative
    King County Council, Washington
    Dear Mr. Irons,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: Re: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 12:40:30 -0800
From: "Don Gerend" gerend@bigfoot.com
To: issyras@attglobal.net

Mr. Rasmussen,

Thank you for cc'ing me in your comprehensive white paper on the ownership issue of property along the proposed East Lake Sammamish Trail. I, for one, would very much like to hear the County's response to many of the points you have made. If you don't receive any action from the County after this letter, please follow up with me. I feel very strongly about his issue. I also am a strong supporter of trails in general (having been a hiker and mountain climber, and a novice bicyclist, ever since moving to the Northwest in the '60's) and the East Lake Sammamish Trail in particular. But, from what I have read, heard and experienced, I don't believe the entities involved in this transition from rail to trail have properly handled the project.

Don Gerend



Subject: Re: [Fwd: East Lake Sammamish Trail]
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 19:44:44 -0800
From: "Jack Barry" jack.barry3@gte.net
To: issyras@attglobal.net

Dear John

Thanks for the good information. I regret, for some reason there was not an attachment. Perhaps you could try again.

Jack Barry
Deputy Mayor



Subject: Re: [Fwd: East Lake Sammamish Trail]
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 01:33:29 EST
From: Huckkathy@aol.com
To: issyras@attglobal.net

Thank you for sending this letter and I will support your request to have this matter looked into and resolved one way or another. These issues need to looked into and addressed otherwise they fester for years and undermine people's confidence in their government. Unfortunately, King County has demonstrated in many ways, both small and larger, that they do not deserve the trust and confidence of the community.

Kathy



Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 09:02:38 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Barry, Jack" jack.barry3@gte.net

Dear Jack,

Thanks for your response and request. For over a year, I've been writing to officials at the County level with my concerns, and have never has a reply and request for more information like yours. Your concern and response just proves to me once again why we formed a government (City) that could respond to our needs.

Below, I've "pasted" the letter to David Irons. It should come through this time. I've already received a reply from Don Gerend, and he did receive the attachment. It must be that the attachments don't come through on some servers.

By the way, after I expressed my concern, in the letter below, that the King County prosecutor's office may be involved in tax fraud with respect to the Trail purchase, a friend wrote to tell me that the title insurance company refused to certify ownership of the easement land for the County. I haven't seen that document, but if it is true, it adds further question to the legality and ethics of this transaction.

Best Regards, John

John Rasmussen



Subject: Re: East Lake Sammamish Trail
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 09:23:49 -0800
From: "Jack Barry" jack.barry3@gte.net
To: issyras@attglobal.net

Dear John

I have received and copied your very detailed letter for future reference. Thank you and thank for you kind words!

Enjoy the week!

Jack Barry,
Deputy Mayor



Subject: [Fwd: East Lake Sammamish Trail]
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 09:04:46 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

Dear Sheriff Reichert,

In August 1999 I wrote you and asked you the following questions with respect to ELST. "Do you place enforcement of the law above your loyalty to the King County leadership? Will you enforce the law and remove the County employees that illegally enter my reversionary property to establish the trail?"

You refused to answer those questions. The County continues to illegally invade my property, and the time comes closer that someone will be physically harmed over this issue. I believe that person most likely will be me, as I defend my property rights.

Attached is a letter to David Irons that describes, in part, what is happening. I send it to you because I want you to be aware of the dishonest methods the County is using to harm and harass the land owners along the Lake. I believe there is evidence that the King County prosecutor's office is involved in federal tax fraud in the ELST transaction.

I don't know why you went into law enforcement, but if it was, in part, to protect the public from thugs and bullies, you need to familiarize with what the County is doing to its residents along Lake Sammamish.

It's my hope that you will take an honest stand on this issue, and refuse to violate my rights, when the time comes for you to get involved.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    Attachment:

    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 20:43:51 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov
    CC: ---Listed above---

    Mr. David Irons
    District 12 Representative
    King County Council, Washington Dear Mr. Irons,

        ---See the full text of this attachment, above---
                OR
        Open full text of this attachment in a separate window.


Subject: Letter from Maleng
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 15:15:36 -0800
From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Welsh, Dick" dick@halcyon.com, Craig and Tammy Owens crowens@paccar.com, Lisa Mitchell LisaMitchell@compuserve.com, Waggoner ewaggoner@accessone.com, Mike Rundle mikerun@email.msn.com, Marcia Rundle marcrun@email.msn.com, Vicki Beres waterlily2@msn.com, Kathy Schroeder kcschroeder@msn.com, Hans Apel hansap@email.msn.com, Reid Brockway rbrockwa@gte.net, Hank Waggoner hankw@lakesideind.com, Craig Owens crowens@hotmail.com, Chenoa patrickh@dellnet.com, "Graddon, Steve" sgraddon@sprynet.com, "Graddon Consulting and Research, Inc." graddoncr@aol.com,

Dear Steve Graddon, and Trail Friends,

I received the attached letter from Norm Maleng's office in this afternoon's mail. I've "pasted" a copy, below, and also attached it in a Microsoft Word format. I scanned the original and corrected all the errors, I hope. If any of you find what appears to be an error, please e-mail me.

Also, the letter that I wrote to David Irons, that I believe finally prompted Maleng to reply, is forwarded at the bottom.

Needless to say, I'm offended by the arrogant first sentence in Maleng's letter. I have written to the prosecutor's office, off and on, for many months, and they have simply ignored my concerns every time, until now. The letter to David Irons, that finally got the response from the prosecutor, wasn't even copied to the prosecutor's office. There must be a lesson to be learned there. I believe that Norm Maleng responded because there is dirt all over the hands of the prosecutor's office with their part in the phony $40 million write-off that BNSF undoubtedly took on the railbanking transfer.

For anyone that is not aware, Steve Graddon's appointment with Howard Schneiderman was canceled by Schneiderman. Now, Schneiderman is claiming it was the other way around. But, more importantly, the prosecutor's office now appears willing to look at our (Steve's) research.

So, the question now is: "Where do we go from here?" Do I take my Graddon book, along with Steve, and go down to the prosecutor's office? Do we try to get the prosecutor's office to commit to dealing with this administratively rather through the courts...before we show them our stuff? Would we be better off to present another property, that has a cleaner chain of title, as a first property to discuss? Should we take John Groen, or another attorney, along? Any ideas?

Lisa is on a trip, and I assume will be back in a day or so. She has seemed to have a strategy in mind, so this may be the opportunity to further it.

I intend to respond to Maleng in a few days, but will wait for some ideas from all of you first.

Best Regards, John

John Rasmussen

    -------------------------------------------------

    OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
    KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON
    CIVIL DIVISION

    Norm Maleng, Prosecuting Attorney

    E550 King County Courthouse
    516 Third Avenue
    Seattle, Washington 98104
    (206) 296-9015
    FAX (206) 296-0191

    January 26, 2000

    John Rasmussen
    1605 E. Lake Sammamish Place S.E.
    Issaquah, Washington
    98029-7434

    Dear Mr. Rasmussen:

    We have received your numerous e-mails. Please ask your consultant to send supporting materials regarding your ownership claims to Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Howard Schneiderman. I learned from Mr. Schneiderman that your consultant, not our office, cancelled the scheduled meeting to review your material. They can certainly reschedule to clarify any misunderstanding. Mr. Schneiderman's address is King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3900, Seattle, WA 98104-5039.

    Very truly yours,

    Sally Tenney
    Chief Civil Deputy

    cc: Howard Schneiderman, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney



Subject: "The Trail of Shame"
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 18:13:29 -0800
From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
Reply-To: issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Maleng, Norm" Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov
CC: "!Rasmussen" issyras@attglobal.net

Mr. Norm Maleng, Prosecuting Attorney
King County, Washington

Dear Mr. Maleng,

I believe you, and other lawyers in the King County Prosecutor's Office, may have behaved criminally in the purchase of the ELST railroad easement. Further, as a result, I believe that you and your department have violated my rights.

Attached at the bottom, is a copy of a letter I received from your office this last week. It is interesting that when I finally got a response from you, it was to a letter addressed to David Irons, not you. I didn't sent a copy of the Irons letter to you because I had given up after eight months of attempting to get explanations from you and your department.

It appears to me that you responded to that letter because I expressed my concern that your department may be involved in tax fraud with respect to the ELST transaction. I'm not accusing you of that crime, I'm pointing to evidence that would justify a formal investigation. I will not stand by and let you defraud the American taxpayer and violate my family's rights. I intend to take this to the federal government, the press, or anywhere else that will resolve it. In fairness to you, I will lay out what I have, tell you how I believe this adds up to tax fraud, and let you respond.

I believe there is evidence that BNSF, TLC and King County knew that all the land under the ELST railroad easement was not owned, fee simple, by BNSF. I believe there is evidence that, knowing this, TLC and King County provided proof of a donation of that land so BNSF could claim a phony write-off of about $40,000,000 with the IRS. A phony donation of $40 million would rip-off the American taxpayer for around $15,000,000. If it happened, some folks should spend some time in prison, and some lawyers should lose their right to practice law. Are you one of those people?

Here is the sequence that brings up the question of federal tax fraud, as I see it:

1. BNSF instructed their appraiser to value the easement land, fee simple. I have a copy of the appraisal by Arthur Andersen, dated 12/10/96. About nine pages in, is a sheet labeled "Special Assumptions and Limiting Conditions". It's one paragraph long, and the last sentence reads: "Because the condition of the title is unknown, we assumed fee simple title at the clients request."

2. BNSF then got TLC to acknowledge a phony donation. I only have an early draft copy of the transfer between BNSF and TLC. However, I suspect that the basic issues of the final agreement are shown there. I would need all the final agreements between these parties to prove anything, but this is enough to question the transaction. My copy is of poor quality, and impossible to read in spots. I believe it states: "TLCSKC acknowledges that the fair market value of the Rail Line is $41.7 million pursuant to an independent appraisal of the Rail Line...". That ties the sale document to the Arthur Andersen appraisal which valued the line at $41.7 million, also. Further, in print that is very unclear, there is reference to "Internal Revenue Service Form ????". This would make me suspect that TLC agreed to certify the donation to the IRS.

3. King County then acknowledged the same phony donation. I have a copy of the TLC-KC sale dated 9/11/98. This is very general about the "bargain sale", but refers to all of (TLC's) "right, title and interest (with certain exceptions described herein)...". This would tie King County to TLC-BNSF agreement, and the tax rip-off.

4. King County knew the ownership by BNSF was in question before certifying the donation. I have been told that in the title insurance policy for the transaction, the title company refused to certify that King County owns the land under the easement. I haven't seen that document. Also, if I understand correctly, there is an appraisal that King County commissioned, that questioned the ownership of the land under the easement. Those two written warnings to the County, in addition to statements made in the Arthur Andersen appraisal, indicate to me that King County was well aware of the ownership question before they signed the papers of sale, and certified the donation.

As we all well know, the County has been "in bed" with TLC from the beginning. I understand that TLC was set up as a middle man in the transaction because the County could not legally buy a railroad, and TLC was used to work around that requirement. TLC is headed by a former County bureaucrat. The County bought the easement from TLC less than a day after it was purchased from BNSF. Therefore, your department undoubtedly was aware of the conditions of the BNSF-TLC sale, if fraud was involved, and if TLC actually agreed to certify the donation to the IRS. As I said above, I haven't seen those final documents, only an early draft. Perhaps you would provide those final documents to me. My guess is that, even if BNSF didn't take the tax write-off, the actions of your office can be shown to be very unethical.

I believe that is enough information to justify an investigation. I would be in a better position to decide what to do, if I had more information. Perhaps you would be willing to help in that respect. If you have nothing to hide, it will be easier for you to deal with this now.

The ownership issue is the foundation of the "house of cards" that King County has built to violate the rights of the residents along East Lake Sammamish. The false claim to ownership allows the County to charge crossing fees for folks to cross their own land. The false claim of ownership justifies the ridiculously high price the County paid to TLC. The false claim of ownership allows the County to ignore the rights of the residents under RCW 64.04.180, and the right to eminent domain. The false claim to ownership partially explains the County's arrogant and inconsiderate treatment of the residents along the lake. When it is shown that the claim to ownership is a fraud, the foundation crumbles and the house of cards comes down. Hopefully it will also bring down the dishonest individuals that are responsible for its construction.

Mr. Maleng, if you would like to meet with me to discuss this, please reply by e-mail, otherwise I'll begin a campaign to bring the tax fraud issue to a formal investigation. This letter is addressed only to you. I may discuss it with others, generally, but will not forward it to anyone until the end of this week. You have until then to respond, if you chose.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen
johnras@attglobal.net (Please reply to this address in addition to the address indicated above.)

    ----------------------------------------

    OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
    KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON
    CIVIL DIVISION

    Norm Maleng, Prosecuting Attorney
    E550 King County Courthouse
    516 Third Avenue
    Seattle, Washington 98104
    (206) 296-9015 FAX (206) 296-0191

    January 26, 2000

    John Rasmussen
    1605 E. Lake Sammamish Place S.E.
    Issaquah, Washington
    98029-7434

    Dear Mr. Rasmussen:

    We have received your numerous e-mails. Please ask your consultant to send supporting materials regarding your ownership claims to Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Howard Schneiderman. I learned from Mr. Schneiderman that your consultant, not our office, cancelled the scheduled meeting to review your material.

    They can certainly reschedule to clarify any misunderstanding. Mr. Schneiderman's address is King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3900, Seattle, WA 98104-5039.

    Very truly yours,

    Sally Tenney
    Chief Civil Deputy

    cc: Howard Schneiderman, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney



Subject: ELST "The Trail of Shame"
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 11:57:37 -0800
From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
Reply-To: issyras@attglobal.net
To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" maggi.fimia@metrokc.gov, "Sullivan, Cynthia" cynthia.sullivan@metrokc.gov, "Miller, Louise" louise.miller@metrokc.gov, "Phillips, Larry" larry.phillips@metrokc.gov, "Pelz, Dwight" dwight.pelz@metrokc.gov, "McKenna, Rob" rob.mckenna@metrokc.gov, "vonReichbauer, Pete" pete.vonreichbauer@metrokc.gov, "Nickels, Greg" greg.nickels@metrokc.gov, "Pullen, Kent" kent.pullen@metrokc.gov, "Gossett, Larry" larry.gossett@metrokc.gov, "Hague, Jane" jane.hague@metrokc.gov, "Vance, Chris" chris.vance@metrokc.gov, David Irons david.irons@metrokc.gov CC: "Locke, Gary" Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov, Dyer HonPDyer5@aol.com, Jack Barry jack.barry3@gte.net, Troy Romero TROYROM@aol.com, Don Gerend gerend@bigfoot.com, Kathy Huckabay Huckkathy@aol.com, Ron Haworth rhaworth@halcyon.com, "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov, johnras@attglobal.net, issyras@attglobal.net

Dear Mr. Sims and Council:

I sent the letter copied below to Mr. Maleng last Monday. He chose to not respond.

The letter points to evidence of unethical or even criminal behavior by King County government. I believe I have a right to have some answers about the actions of the County because of the negative effect they have on my family.

Would you please review the information below and respond by the end of this week?

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

Reply to: johnras@attglobal.net

    ----------------------------------------------

    Attachment:

    Subject: "The Trail of Shame"
    Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 18:13:29 -0800
    From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
    Reply-To: issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Maleng, Norm" Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov
    CC: "!Rasmussen" issyras@attglobal.net

    Mr. Norm Maleng, Prosecuting Attorney
    King County, Washington

    Dear Mr. Maleng,

    I believe you, and other lawyers in the King County Prosecutor's Office, may have behaved criminally in the purchase of the ELST railroad easement. Further, as a result, I believe that you and your department have violated my rights.

    Attached at the bottom, is a copy of a letter I received from your office this last week. It is interesting that when I finally got a response from you, it was to a letter addressed to David Irons, not you. I didn't sent a copy of the Irons letter to you because I had given up after eight months of attempting to get explanations from you and your department.

    It appears to me that you responded to that letter because I expressed my concern that your department may be involved in tax fraud with respect to the ELST transaction. I'm not accusing you of that crime, I'm pointing to evidence that would justify a formal investigation. I will not stand by and let you defraud the American taxpayer and violate my family's rights. I intend to take this to the federal government, the press, or anywhere else that will resolve it. In fairness to you, I will lay out what I have, tell you how I believe this adds up to tax fraud, and let you respond.

    I believe there is evidence that BNSF, TLC and King County knew that all the land under the ELST railroad easement was not owned, fee simple, by BNSF. I believe there is evidence that, knowing this, TLC and King County provided proof of a donation of that land so BNSF could claim a phony write-off of about $40,000,000 with the IRS. A phony donation of $40 million would rip-off the American taxpayer for around $15,000,000. If it happened, some folks should spend some time in prison, and some lawyers should lose their right to practice law. Are you one of those people?

    Here is the sequence that brings up the question of federal tax fraud, as I see it:

    1. BNSF instructed their appraiser to value the easement land, fee simple. I have a copy of the appraisal by Arthur Andersen, dated 12/10/96. About nine pages in, is a sheet labeled "Special Assumptions and Limiting Conditions". It's one paragraph long, and the last sentence reads: "Because the condition of the title is unknown, we assumed fee simple title at the clients request."

    2. BNSF then got TLC to acknowledge a phony donation. I only have an early draft copy of the transfer between BNSF and TLC. However, I suspect that the basic issues of the final agreement are shown there. I would need all the final agreements between these parties to prove anything, but this is enough to question the transaction. My copy is of poor quality, and impossible to read in spots. I believe it states: "TLCSKC acknowledges that the fair market value of the Rail Line is $41.7 million pursuant to an independent appraisal of the Rail Line...". That ties the sale document to the Arthur Andersen appraisal which valued the line at $41.7 million, also. Further, in print that is very unclear, there is reference to "Internal Revenue Service Form ????". This would make me suspect that TLC agreed to certify the donation to the IRS.

    3. King County then acknowledged the same phony donation. I have a copy of the TLC-KC sale dated 9/11/98. This is very general about the "bargain sale", but refers to all of (TLC's) "right, title and interest (with certain exceptions described herein)...". This would tie King County to TLC-BNSF agreement, and the tax rip-off.

    4. King County knew the ownership by BNSF was in question before certifying the donation. I have been told that in the title insurance policy for the transaction, the title company refused to certify that King County owns the land under the easement. I haven't seen that document. Also, if I understand correctly, there is an appraisal that King County commissioned, that questioned the ownership of the land under the easement. Those two written warnings to the County, in addition to statements made in the Arthur Andersen appraisal, indicate to me that King County was well aware of the ownership question before they signed the papers of sale, and certified the donation.

    As we all well know, the County has been "in bed" with TLC from the beginning. I understand that TLC was set up as a middle man in the transaction because the County could not legally buy a railroad, and TLC was used to work around that requirement. TLC is headed by a former County bureaucrat. The County bought the easement from TLC less than a day after it was purchased from BNSF. Therefore, your department undoubtedly was aware of the conditions of the BNSF-TLC sale, if fraud was involved, and if TLC actually agreed to certify the donation to the IRS. As I said above, I haven't seen those final documents, only an early draft. Perhaps you would provide those final documents to me. My guess is that, even if BNSF didn't take the tax write-off, the actions of your office can be shown to be very unethical.

    I believe that is enough information to justify an investigation. I would be in a better position to decide what to do, if I had more information. Perhaps you would be willing to help in that respect. If you have nothing to hide, it will be easier for you to deal with this now.

    The ownership issue is the foundation of the "house of cards" that King County has built to violate the rights of the residents along East Lake Sammamish. The false claim to ownership allows the County to charge crossing fees for folks to cross their own land. The false claim of ownership justifies the ridiculously high price the County paid to TLC. The false claim of ownership allows the County to ignore the rights of the residents under RCW 64.04.180, and the right to eminent domain. The false claim to ownership partially explains the County's arrogant and inconsiderate treatment of the residents along the lake. When it is shown that the claim to ownership is a fraud, the foundation crumbles and the house of cards comes down. Hopefully it will also bring down the dishonest individuals that are responsible for its construction.

    Mr. Maleng, if you would like to meet with me to discuss this, please reply by e-mail, otherwise I'll begin a campaign to bring the tax fraud issue to a formal investigation. This letter is addressed only to you. I may discuss it with others, generally, but will not forward it to anyone until the end of this week. You have until then to respond, if you chose.

    Sincerely,

    John Rasmussen
    johnras@attglobal.net (Please reply to this address in addition to the address indicated above.)

      ----------------------------------------

      OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
      KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON
      CIVIL DIVISION

      Norm Maleng, Prosecuting Attorney
      E550 King County Courthouse
      516 Third Avenue
      Seattle, Washington 98104
      (206) 296-9015 FAX (206) 296-0191

      January 26, 2000

      John Rasmussen
      1605 E. Lake Sammamish Place S.E.
      Issaquah, Washington
      98029-7434

      Dear Mr. Rasmussen:

      We have received your numerous e-mails. Please ask your consultant to send supporting materials regarding your ownership claims to Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Howard Schneiderman. I learned from Mr. Schneiderman that your consultant, not our office, cancelled the scheduled meeting to review your material.

      They can certainly reschedule to clarify any misunderstanding. Mr. Schneiderman's address is King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3900, Seattle, WA 98104-5039.

      Very truly yours,

      Sally Tenney
      Chief Civil Deputy

      cc: Howard Schneiderman, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney



Subject: Railbanking corruption
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2000 20:52:37 -0700
From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
To: "McCain, John" John_McCain@McCain.senate.gov

Senator John McCain
Chairman
Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
United States Senate

Dear Senator McCain,

As Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee I'm writing to inform you there is strong evidence that massive fraud has taken place in the Rails-to-Trails project on East Lake Sammamish in Washington State. Further, since the Governor of the State of Washington, and the leadership of King County are involved, there is little chance that this will be dealt with at the state level. I believe that your committee has the responsibility to investigate this crime.

Here's what happened as I see it. In 1996, Burlington Northern Santa Fe decided to abandoned a spur line that ran for twelve miles along the east shore of Lake Sammamish in King County, Washington. For years King County had expressed a desire to obtain the right-of-way for a trail and park. So, BNSF used the threat of full abandonment to force King County and their middleman, The Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County (TLCSKC), to pay an excessive price for the assets, and then provide documentation to the IRS for a fraudulent tax write off. Full abandonment would have returned the easement land to the reversionary owners, most of which are the present adjacent residents, while railbanking made that land available for a County park at the expense of these owners. The fraudulent tax write off was for about $40 million, which cheated the American taxpayers out of about $15 million.

The tax scam evolved as follows. BNSF hired Arthur Andersen LLP to appraise the assets of the twelve mile spur. While BNSF had fee simple title to only a couple of properties along the lake, it instructed Arthur Andersen to value all the land under the twelve mile right-of-way as if the railroad held fee simple title. What BNSF actually owned was worth less that $1 million according to another appraisal, but, based on the BNSF false claim of ownership, Arthur Andersen appraised the assets at $41.7 million. In the papers of sale, TLCSKC agreed to pay $1.5 million and accept a donation of $40.2 million. This was called a "bargain sale", part sale and part donation. It was actually part sale, part rip-off of the American taxpayer. Further, TLCSKC agreed to provide documentation of the phony donation to the IRS. This allowed Burlington Northern Santa Fe to realize about $16.5 million from the Rails-to-Trails transaction, when its assets were actually worth only about $1 million. This fraudulent act by BNSF, TLCSKC and King County has harmed me as an American taxpayer, but also has violated my rights as a reversionary property owner along the right-of-way.

I suspect that this dishonesty is present in other railbanking transactions. Politicians are hesitant to take a critical look at any project that benefits the public, so they turn their backs on evidence that tax fraud and crimes are being committed by the railroads and groups that are supporting these trails. The truth about these transactions is buried, and the true costs are delayed and hidden. This process exploits a weaknesses of our democracy by challenging politicians to choose what they know to be right at the expense of losing votes in their next election. Sadly, most politicians choose to ignore the law in favor of their personal careers. That's what has happened here in Washington State.

In October 1999 the GAO presented a report on railbanking to Senator Brownback. The facts in that report show the Rails-to-Trails Act to be in great need of amendment. There was no mention, however, of fraudulent tax claims by the railroads. Perhaps the GAO needs to go back and finish their investigation. A good place to start would be to investigate the fraud that has happened here in Sammamish, Washington.

Perhaps you notice that I send this note on the 4th of July, Independence Day. While most Americans are celebrating, I mourn the loss of my constitutional freedoms to the special interests of the trail advocates and the railroads, and the weak character of the local politicians.

Senator McCain, please investigate the corruption and fraud that the Rails-to-Trails Act has brought to the families along East Lake Sammamish, Washington. As chairman of the committee that has oversight, you have the authority to investigate, but more importantly, the responsibility.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen
USNA 1967
1605 East Lake Sammamish Place S. E.
Sammamish, Wa 98029



Subject: The 4th of July on ELST
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2000 22:56:46 -0700
From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov, "Irons, David" davidi@ccpi.net

Mr. David Irons
District 12 Representative
King County Council, Washington

Dear David,

In the very near future, I intend to begin using a loaded shotgun to defend my property against the illegal actions of King County along the proposed East Lake Sammamish Trail. I will be very aggressive in defending myself and my property, and there is a greatly increased chance someone is going to be injured or killed. Most likely that person will be me. I take this action after much thought and after over fifteen months of attempting to resolve issues with the County without any success whatsoever. I've repeatedly asked for an explanation of the County's illegal actions against me and my family. Every letter I have written has been effectively ignored. Most of those letters are copied below. Why don't you take a look at those letters and explain to me why I have received no answer. The time for writing letters and waiting for answers is over, it's time to stop this project until the law is obeyed and my rights are recognized. It's time to stand up for my rights in the face of a corrupt King County government.

Since I hold legal title to the land, and Washington State law requires the County to pay compensation for the establishment of the trail, the County has obviously decided to occupy my land in direct violation of that law. If I allow this to happen, after a legal period of time the County can claim my land by adverse possession. I'll defend my land from being taken in this manner. Ron Sims and Norm Maleng don't have the authority to ignore or change the laws of this State. That has to be done in the courts or by the legislature.

On January 18th, 2000 I wrote a letter to you outlining the violation of my rights by King County in the establishment of the ELST. In a phone conservation on January 25th, you said that it would take two to three weeks for you to fully evaluate the concerns I expressed. It is now five months later and I have had no response from you. Your letter is one of the many unanswered letters copied below.

It is obvious to me that the County, TLC and BNSF have conspired to defraud the American taxpayer of about $15 million with the trail transaction. Out of greed, and to hide and defend its criminal actions, the County now violates my rights and tries to steal my land. If you'd like to show your kids a crook, don't take them to the County jail, take them down and introduce them to Norm Maleng. I say that in all seriousness. If we let this man get away with these illegal actions, by the time our children are adults there will not be one honest politician or prosecutor left in this County. Do you want that to be your legacy?

I'll give adequate notice to Sims, Maleng, Reichert, the Council and Parks before I get out the shotgun. I've got to find it first, it's tucked away somewhere in the house. I last shot it hunting ducks and pheasants as a kid growing up in Eastern Washington. I never thought in those innocent days that the gun would be used to defend my property and my life. In the correspondence to the County I will spell out, explicitly, how I intend to defend myself and how they can ensure the safety of County employees that accidentally wander onto my property. I'm writing now to give you a small window of time to begin representing my rights and the rule of law in this County. I believe you and the Council have no right to ignore the corruption and illegal activities by officials of this County. The time you promised to respond passed months ago.

I'll be here in Sammamish for most of the next week. I think we could accomplish more if we met face to face. If you aren't interested in standing up for the rule of law, don't bother wasting my time with a meeting. If you are interested in stopping the corruption coming out of the prosecutor's office, give me a call.

425-392-XXXX (edited)

It's no coincidence that I send this note on the 4th of July. Why don't page down through the unanswered letters copied below to the 4th of July a year ago, and read the letter I wrote then? The 4th of July has become a day for me to mourn the loss of my freedom, not celebrate.

Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? What does it take for you and the County Council to wake up and do your job?

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

    Reference:

    Subject: Illegal taking of my land
    Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:02:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: ron.sims@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: Obeying the Law
    Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:15:46 -0700
    From: John Rasmussen johnras@ibm.net
    To: Gary Locke Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov

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    Subject: RCW 64.04.180
    Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 17:48:43 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: RE: RCW 64.04.180
    Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 09:05:11 -0700
    From: "Eldred, David" David.Eldred@METROKC.GOV
    To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

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    Subject: Re: RCW 64.04.180
    Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 14:15:38 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Eldred, David" David.Eldred@METROKC.GOV

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 08:47:30 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: Independence Day on the ELST
    Date: Sun, 04 Jul 1999 11:27:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" etc

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    Subject: SOS on ELST
    Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:32:39 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" etc

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999 09:55:25 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: ELST-Crime in Progress
    Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 08:12:50 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 08:21:38 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Fimia, Maggi" Maggi.Fimia@METROKC.GOV
    CC: "'johnras@ibm.net'" johnras@ibm.net

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail, Draft EIS
    Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 15:36:45 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: dcfm.sepacomments@metrokc.gov
    CC: "Fimia, Maggi" , etc

    To: Cheryl Fambles Director, Department of Construction Facilities and Management
    From: John Rasmussen 1605 E. Lk. Sammamish Place S.E., Sammamish, WA
    Subject: Written Comments on the Draft EIS, East Lake Sammamish Trail

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    Subject: Statement
    Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 14:38:09 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: [Fwd: Statement
    ] Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 13:29:03 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 17:10:50 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Maleng, Norm" Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: ELST
    Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 15:59:37 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 20:43:51 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: [Fwd: East Lake Sammamish Trail]
    Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 09:04:46 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: ELST "The Trail of Shame"
    Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 11:57:37 -0800
    From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
    Reply-To: issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, etc,

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Subject: ELST
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 14:02:14 -0700
From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov, "Irons, David" davidi@ccpi.net

Mr. David Irons
District 12 Representative
King County Council, Washington

Dear David,

Thanks for calling and discussing the ELST situation last Thursday, July 6th.

After that call I began writing a follow-up letter. That letter is now six pages long and in need of a couple draft reviews, and perhaps downsizing, before I send it. I won't have it to you for several more days. I'm writing a note, now, to let you know it's on the way.

That letter will updated the problems that I feel must be resolved. Also, I will be more specific in what I hope you will do for me as my representative. We didn't discuss that aspect on the phone and it's an important item, as I realize that you are in a position to provide only limited help. There will be no big surprises in this letter, just an update and perhaps clearer presentation.

I think the letter will be helpful, and I request that you wait for it before you dig into these matters for us. I realize you promised a response to me a week and a half. Please extend that time to incorporate the letter that you will receive in the next few days.

Regards, John

John Rasmussen



Subject: RE: ELST
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 14:04:04 -0700
From: "Irons, David" David.Irons@METROKC.GOV
To: "'johnras@attglobal.net'" johnras@attglobal.net

John

Thank you for your e-mail. I will contact you the end of next week if that time-line is appropriate.

Thank You

David Irons
King County Council
District 12
206-296-1012 office



Subject: ELST - The Trail of Shame
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 11:26:46 -0700
From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov, "Irons, David" davidi@ccpi.net
CC: "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov, Dyer HonPDyer5@aol.com, Jack Barry jack.barry3@gte.net, Troy Romero TROYROM@aol.com, Don Gerend gerend@bigfoot.com, Kathy Huckabay Huckkathy@aol.com, Ron Haworth rhaworth@halcyon.com, dick@halcyon.com, crowens@paccar.com, LisaMitchell@compuserve.com, ewaggoner@accessone.com, mikerun@email.msn.com, marcrun@email.msn.com, waterlily2@msn.com, kcschroeder@msn.com,

Mr. David Irons
District 12 Representative
King County Council, Washington

Dear David,

King County government is violating my rights. For fifteen months I have written letters that outline the problems with ELST, without any significant reply from the County. For fifteen months I've been open and forthright, while the response from the County has to been to ignore my legitimate complaints, and play slimy lawyer tricks with my civil rights. In that fifteen months, the County has pushed forward with the ELST trail development without fully addressing the most critical issue: Is the County legal in its actions? At this point, it is not a question if the County and I disagree; I have simply been intentionally ignored with my legitimate concerns. I obey the law, pay taxes, respect the rights of others, while the County leadership has decided to ignore the law, use my tax dollars to defraud me, and show no respect, whatsoever, for my rights. Now, I feel my only option is to defend my rights and my property with a gun. There is a limit to my patience, and I have exceeded that limit several times over while waiting for a very sick King County government to do its duty. King County has totally failed in its responsibility to the residents along ELS.

David, I wrote to you on the Forth of July to explain my decision to stand up against the corruption of this County. We talked by phone on July 6th, and I assured you that I would give adequate notice to the County before I meet trespassers with a loaded shotgun. Then, I wrote you a note on July 10th to explain I was working on a letter that updates and restates the problems. This is that letter.

If you are willing to represent my rights before King County government, please give me a timetable for you to deal with the concerns I express here. Otherwise, I'll give 72 hours notice and begin to meet trespassers from the County with a loaded shotgun. I will remove them from my property with whatever force is required. I will use the shotgun to defend my life and my property. For fifteen months I have asked trespassing County employees to depart my property. I've repeatedly notified County government, in writing, to stay off my property. The County has continued to send these trespassers while totally ignoring my rights. It is obvious to me that the County is using the excuse of the federal railbanking act to take adverse possession of my land. That action is illegal. Now, more aggressive actions are justified. In light of my repeated attempts to resolve the issues over a period of fifteen months, the County leadership bears the responsibility for this more dangerous situation.

I believe there is a very dishonest reason that the County is ignoring my questions. There is strong evidence that the County has made false claims of ownership and participated in federal tax fraud on ELS. Honestly answering my questions would require the County to admit its guilt.

Is the County legal in its actions?

I stated, above, the critical question: Is the County legal in its actions? Who owns the land under the BNSF right-of-way? If the County does not own the land, is it responsible for the taking involved in the establishment of ELST, and is it required to compensate the reversionary owners? The County has skipped by that most critical step in the establishment of the trail. In an article of the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce on January 21st, Robin Cole, ELST project manager, was quoted as saying: "What I'm saying is we don't want to let the property issue monopolize the development of the trail." This attitude is typical of the County's approach: ignore peoples rights and the requirements of the law, and continue on with the project. The problem is that many of the lakeside owners are having their property stolen by this process. Who owns the reversionary property is a major factor that has to be considered in the development of the trail. The whole process of public discussion has been tainted because of the haste that the County used to skip over and misrepresent the ownership issue. There has been a campaign of misinformation about the ownership issue, lead by Norm Maleng's office and lawyers from TLC, I believe. Further, I believe this campaign of misinformation has been used to hide and defend their participation in federal tax fraud. This will be covered in more detail later.

The County should be required to go back to the beginning and deal with ELST properly. First, deciding if it has legally obtained a right to cross lakeside yards. I'm confident that the facts will show in almost every case that the County is taking the property and neglecting its responsibility under RCW 64.04.180. This law requires King County to compensate the reversionary landowners for the taking of their land for the ELST. Until the County takes responsibility for its actions and admits that it has harmed the reversionary landowners by taking their land, the process of accepting public input is biased and invalid. The public must have the truth about ownership for their comments and suggestions to have any validity.

My wife and I have been ready from the beginning to compromise and make the trail happen along East Lake Sammamish, but there can be no compromise until the County recognizes our rights under the law. In our case, we own the land under the right-of-way and the new easement for a trail caused by the County's actions requires compensation under RCW 64.04.180. To give you an idea of the required cost of compensation, BNSF had our property under the right-of-way assessed for about $510,000.00 by Arthur Andersen in late 1996. The County's agent, TLC, agreed to certify to the IRS that BNSF donated our reversionary property to the people of King County, according to the documents that I've obtained. This fraud is discussed later in this letter. Using the King County Assessor's increase in land value of our property from 1996 to 2000, the value of the right-of-way land on our parcel, alone, is now about $660,000.00. King County/TLC apparently certified those values so BNSF could take a giant illegal tax write-off for land it didn't own. Now the County is in a position that it has to claim it owns my reversionary property, or admit its part in the fraudulent donation of my land.

David, when I talked to you on July 6th, I believe you stated that it was your understanding that RCW 64.04.180 was withheld because of the federal railbanking act. I ask you reconsider that opinion. RCW 64.04.180 requires King County to take responsibility for its actions against the reversionary landowners along ELS. The law is in its present form because of a Washington State Supreme Court decision in 1986. That is the Lawson decision, and here are quotes from that case. "King County cannot acquire the [ ] right of way from Burlington Northern without payment of just compensation to the reversionary interest holders. If the County takes this right of way and commences to build a recreation trail, it does so in violation of the constitution." and "Finally, we do not wish to leave any impression that a recreational trail is not a desirable goal. [] It is necessary, however, that a public entity proceed in a constitutional fashion in acquiring the way necessary for such trails." RCW 64.04.180 was rewritten to accommodate the ruling in the Lawson decision. If the circumstances of the Lawson case seem eerily similar to the East Lake Sammamish situation, you should also know that the losing attorney for King County in that case was Norm Maleng. He lost this case before the Washington State Supreme Court, and now, it appears, he informs the County Council that King County has the right to throw out that Washington Supreme Court decision, and throw out the resulting Washington State law, too. David, do you see the need to stop listening to the advice of a very biased County Prosecutor and seek an outside legal opinion? There a is further discussion of RCW 64.04.180 below.

Civil Rights violation:

My roommate from the U.S. Naval Academy has a small law practice in Eastern Washington. He and I have discussed what is going on here in very general terms and his first thought was that ELST is turning into a civil rights case, not simply a property dispute. I am beginning to agree with him. After fifteen months of having my rights destroyed by King County, after fifteen months of being ignored in my right to have my voice heard, I believe he is right. I have had no significant answer to my legitimate questions for fifteen months, and now feel my only recourse is to use a gun, at the risk of my life, to defend my rights. My civil rights are being violated by King County in a most ugly and harmful way. There are over four hundred properties along East Lake Sammamish, most of which have suffered the same violations.

Federal tax fraud, and document tampering.

The following describes, again, the evidence of wrongdoing by the County with ELST. This evidence has been staring the County Council in the face while most members turn their heads to ignore it. It's time the King County Council honestly faces what is going on with ELST.

Based on the evidence I've seen, let me explain how I believe the County has participated in Federal tax fraud.

It appears that as a condition of railbanking the East Lake Sammamish spur, Burlington Northern required TLC and King County to certify a phony donation of land the railroad didn't own. This allowed BNSF to take a tax write-off that would defraud the American taxpayers of about $15 million. That works out to over $1 million dollars per mile along East Lake Sammamish.

Here is how I believe the tax scam worked.

BNSF hired Arthur Andersen LLP to appraise the East Lake Sammamish right-of-way assuming that Burlington Northern owned all the right-of-way land fee simple. You can prove this for yourself by looking at page eight of the Arthur Andersen appraisal dated December 10, 1996. "...we assumed fee simple title at the clients request." The client is BNSF. I can provide a copy of that appraisal for you, if you wish.

Then BNSF required TLC and King County to acknowledge a phony IRS donation of $40.2 million. At the corporate tax rate, this allowed BNSF to rip-off the American taxpayer for about $15 million. This crime is spelled out in the papers of sale from BNSF to TLC, and follows with the transfer to King County. So far the Prosecutor's office and TLC have had good success in hiding the crime, it appears. I have a draft copy of that agreement with the incriminating paragraph distorted to the point it cannot be accurately read, while the remainder of the document is perfectly readable. When TLC provided a copy of that agreement to the City of Issaquah, they "neglected" to include the page with that paragraph. I believe it is no coincidence that the same paragraph is missing from both documents.

David, you can obtain that missing paragraph with little effort, if you chose. Norm Maleng should be able to provide you a copy. You should also obtain the draft copy of the agreement dated April 4, 1997 from BNSF Legal to Charles Montange. That is available in the County records, or I can provide that copy for you, if necessary. It shows what I believe to be the intentional distortion of the incriminating paragraph, and also how the final document may have been altered to make less obvious the connection to the Arthur Andersen appraisal. There is a good chance the words "is $41.7 million" were struck from paragraph 2. (a) (5) in the final version, to attempt to make vague the connection to the Arthur Andersen appraisal. The draft and final versions need to be seen side by side to see that process. Further, if TLC agreed to provide documents of a donation of my property to the IRS, I believe the Council should be demanding to see those documents, too.

If the BNSF actually had fee simple title, and legally donated the land to TLC/King County, no crime was committed. For months, I've asked the County to show me proof of the County's claim to fee simple title. The fact is that fee simple title is held by my wife and me, and is a matter of public record. If the County knew that BNSF did not have fee simple title, and then certified to the IRS that BNSF donated fee simple title to the land, that is federal tax fraud. I believe that is what happened. From the information I have been able to obtain, I can only conclude that the County's claim of ownership of my property under the right-of-way is based on keeping Norm Maleng and his associates from facing charges of federal tax fraud. It appears to me that the Prosecutor's office has ignored it's own research showing the right-of-way to be an easement in almost every case, and is most likely to have altered documents to hide that information from the public.

False claims by the County to ownership of my property, and document tampering.

On January 13, 1997, John Couch, Director of Parks and Recreation, provided a memo to the City of Redmond on ELST progress. The last paragraph in that report stated: "Currently we believe the Railroad owns one 1500 lineal foot section of the trail. [] The rest of the route is held by the Railroad in a right of way easement." When this document was released by the County under the freedom of information act, that paragraph was removed. I believe that it is no accident that document had been altered. 1,500 lineal feet would be 2.3% of the proposed trail. Yet a short time later TLC/King County apparently certified that 100% of the right-of-way land was owned, fee simple by BNSF, and donated to TLC/King County. How did the County determine BNSF owned 100% of the land under the right-of-way? If the only basis of the County's claim is that it was required to acknowledge the ownership by BNSF as a condition of railbanking, then the County has violated the law and my rights.

Further, in late 1996 King County obtained a title report on ELST. I've quickly looked through the four inch thick report by "King County Office of Open Space, Title Officer's Review of Title Report". It appears that the report for every parcel of the trail had this statement: "Vesting: [] The particular deed under which this property was acquired was entitled "right of way deed" which would probably be deemed to be and easement interest only. []". In the face of this finding, where is the justification for the County to claim fee simple title a short time later? I have only seen documents that indicate the County found the right-of-way to be an easement. Where is the proof the County has fee simple title?

The King County-TLC relationship:

What is the relationship between the County and TLC? In the "investigation" of TLC in 1998, it's obvious to me that the County Council was simply out to whitewash the ELST transaction, not to demand a full accounting. A full accounting would have shown the close relationship between the County and TLC, and mismanagement on the part of the County. Here is a quote from the Seattle Times, November 20, 1998: "McKenna proposed an audit of what profit was made by the Land Conservancy. But he later agreed to have the auditor review whether 'the transaction followed the procedures set forth by the county for the acquisition of real property.' 'It turns out we don't have any legal right to get into the Land Conservancy's books,' said McKenna, a former Land Conservancy board member, 'and that's not what I was after anyway. I was after how we agreed to the price we agreed to pay.'" Anyone in King County Government that says that the BNSF-TLC-King County transaction has already been investigated, is simply misinformed. They may be accurate in stating that it has already been covered up. The County has every legal right to investigate TLC. TLC has taken in over $4 million of taxpayers money plus the salvage rights on ELST, while paying only $1.5 million. TLC publicly claims they barely broke even. It's time this windfall profit be fully investigated.

Why did the County hire TLC to be the middleman in the ELST transaction? I wonder, now, if it was a slimy lawyer trick by Norm Maleng to distance himself from the fraudulent documentation BNSF required as a condition of railbanking. Is that why TLC took in over $4 million after paying just $1.5 million for the railroad? Was it a payoff for their illegal activity in the ELST transaction?

I've had an exchange of correspondence with Peter Goldman of TLC and The Bicycle Alliance. He serves as a lawyer for TLC. If he is typical in philosophy of the other members of the TLC, they're a far left political group that have a very socialistic political agenda. It is one of the greatness of America that we have a full spectrum of political views, but Goldman and TLC appear to have crossed the line from political advocacy to illegal behavior. Peter Goldman is one of the authors of a "fact sheet" that totally misrepresents the railbanking situation along ELST. This "fact sheet" has been made available to the public on The Bicycle Alliance web site, the Friends of the East Lake Sammamish Trail web site, and the East Lake Sammamish Trail Two Cents Board web site. Publishing lies to intentionally mislead the public is very wrong. Committing federal tax fraud is criminal. Yet, King County leadership has allowed TLC to establish its biased and illegal philosophy as County policy. It's time the King County Council "woke up and smelled the coffee." TLC and the Prosecutor's office have misled the public and County leadership as to the legal aspects of railbanking, and they do this to hide their illegal behavior, I believe.

Someone's a liar:

In the face of this fraud, a number of landowners along ELST hired Graddon Consulting to investigate and determine who actually owns the right-of-way land. My wife and I spent over $7,000 for this research on our lot, alone. We did this because of the fraudulent claims and slimy tactics by the County. We did this when our title clearly shows we own the land. I've asked repeatedly for the County to show me the fee simple title it claims, without any response whatsoever. When Graddon's research proved to us that the land was clearly ours, a number of us hired Graddon to approach the County with his results to save us the continued stress of dealing with this, and the costs of litigation. According to Steve Graddon, a meeting was set up with Howard Schneiderman, which Schneiderman then canceled. Further calls from Steve Graddon asking for an explanation were not returned. When I presented this information to Norm Maleng, Ms. Tenney from his office wrote this: "I learned from Mr. Schneiderman that your consultant, not our office, canceled the scheduled meeting to review your material." Someone is a damn liar here. Considering my experience dealing with Mr. Maleng's staff for the last fifteen months, I have no doubt that this problem is with the Prosecutor. For fifteen months I have dealt with nothing but stonewalling, lies, and slimy lawyer tricks from of his office.

Adverse Possession:

The County falsely claims ownership of my land, and then trespasses to establish possession. After the legal waiting period the County will claim ownership by adverse possession. I have the right to defend my land from being taken by this dishonest means. I have the same right to eject County employees from my right-of-way land as I do to stop someone from breaking into my house to steal my TV. Of course the guy stealing my TV isn't using slimy lawyer tricks to try to fool my neighbors and me into believing the TV is his. The common criminal has a lot to learn from Norm Maleng's tactics.

RCW 64.04.180

David, when we talked on July 6th, I got the impression that you believe that the County isn't liable to its citizens under RCW 64.04.180. I ask you to reconsider this. Who told you that King County in not required to obey Washington State law? Anytime someone tells you that, little warning bells should be going off somewhere for you. This lie has been spread repeatedly by the lawyers from the TLC. Have you simply heard it so many times that you are beginning to believe it? It is a very slippery slope that you traverse when you decide that King County is not accountable under the laws of the State. Those very laws are the basis of your rights as a government representative. You need to get some outside legal advice before you support that as County policy. Find a retired judge, or some legal scholar that doesn't have a political agenda with respect to this law, and ask them if you should throw away this law without a judicial decision, or a change of the law by the Washington State legislature. Ask them if TLC and Norm Maleng's opinions are enough authority to disregard Washington State law. At the very least get both sides of the story. If you have listened to the TLC/NM viewpoint, then give Dick Welsh a call and listen to the man who helped author that law.

Sometimes it is simplest to read the law yourself. Here is that law.

RCW 64.04.180 Railroad properties as public utility and transportation corridors--Declaration of availability for public use--Acquisition of reversionary interest. Railroad properties, including but not limited to rights-of-way, land held in fee and used for railroad operations, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities, are declared to be suitable for public use upon cessation of railroad operations on the properties. It is in the public interest of the state of Washington that such properties retain their character as public utility and transportation corridors, and that they may be made available for public uses including highways, other forms of mass transportation, conservation, energy production or transmission, or recreation. Nothing in this section or in RCW 64.04.190 authorizes a public agency or utility to acquire reversionary interests in public utility and transportation corridors without payment of just compensation. [1988 c 16 § 1; 1984 c 143 § 22.]

The concept that the federal railbanking law throws out the Constitution of the State of Washington, or keeps King County from taking responsibility for its actions under this law, is ridiculous. "The Commission's actions may delay property owners' enjoyment of their reversionary interests, but that delay burdens and defeats the property interest rather than suspends or defers the vesting of those property rights. [] Any other conclusion would convert the ICC's power to pre-empt conflicting state regulation of interstate commerce into the power to pre-empt the rights guaranteed by state property law, a result incompatible with the Fifth Amendment." That statement is by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in the U.S. Supreme Court Preseault decision in 1990. (PRESEAULT v. ICC, 494 U.S. 1 (1990) She is saying that railbanking does not have the power to pre-empt state property law, if I understand it correctly. RCW 64.04.180 is Washington State property law. If the County doesn't like this law, it can challenge it in court or try to get it changed in the legislature; it cannot simple ignore it. But, that's what the County is doing with its actions against the landowners along the ELST. If Norm Maleng believes that railbanking throws out Washington State property law, perhaps he should give Judge O'Connor a call and straighten her out on this issue.

A perspective of why such an ugly conflict exists between the County and the landowners:

A political system runs on compromise, and I believe most of the landowners along Lake Sammamish have been willing from the start to compromise and make the trail happen. I have repeatedly stated I favor a trail, and my willingness to negotiate. The problem is a rigid, no-compromise position from the County, stemming from its fraudulent activity with TLC and BNSF, I believe. It appears the County Prosecutor's office and TLC certified a fee simple donation from BNSF and all the individuals involved will likely go to prison, if justice be served. Since the Prosecutor seems to be running the show with this project, the rigid County position comes from his office. If we're to compromise and make the trail happen in cooperation with the County, the County must first recognize our fee simple ownership, and admit that the County's actions in establishing the trail has triggered the taking of our land. The Prosecutor cannot allow the truth to be told about either of these facts. Recognizing our ownership could put Norm Maleng in prison, as I explained above. Admitting the County's actions caused our land to be taken makes the County liable under RCW 64.04.180. The County would have to compensate the reversionary landowners as much as $50 million, and then negotiate with the Federal Government to establish the respective liabilities. It is the County that is in a no-compromise position, not the adjacent landowners.

Where I'm coming from:

Perhaps if I tell you a little about myself, you'll understand why I have to take this stand. My family moved to Washington in 1891. We have contributed to the development of this State for over one hundred years. The bridge across the Yakima River into Richland is named after my great grandparents, the Bremmers. The road in front of the family farm in West Richland is named after my grandparents, John and Clara Weidle. My first name is John in honor of that man. Many of the exhibits in the Benton County Historical Museum are from the farm home where I grew up.

After high school, I was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy by Catherine May, a longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives. I graduated in 1967 and served as a Naval Officer for twelve years. The freedoms that I served to protect as a member of our armed services are now being taken from me by the criminal actions of King County.

In the hundred years since my family moved here, we have had honest government in this State. In the name of my family, I have a responsibility to see that the tradition is carried on to my sons.

What I ask from you.

Indicate to me that you will stand up for my rights before King County government and give me a timetable for that representation.

Look at the evidence I've presented and call for criminal investigation and prosecution if appropriate. If Norm Maleng has acted criminally, call for his dismissal, disbarment, and prosecution for federal tax fraud.

Demand a full accounting of the over $4 million of taxpayer's money showered on TLC. If they refuse, call for the County to cut off all dealings with that organization and press for prosecution.

If the County has defrauded the reversionary landowners, call for additional public meetings on the trail to educate the public to the truth of that issue.

Ask that my questions for the last fifteen months be answered in writing, and signed by an official that legally represents King County. A copy of those fifteen months of letters is listed as reference below.

What I'll do:

If the County provides a valid claim to me that needs to be settled in court, I am willing to settle those questions in that manner.

If nothing happens from this letter, I'll give 72 hours notice to everyone I've ever written over the last fifteen months and then meet any trespassers on my property with a loaded shotgun. I will demand they prove to me their right to be there, or I will use whatever force is necessary to remove them. I will not allow the County to steal my property by adverse possession, fraud and direct violation of the laws and Constitution of the State of Washington.

David, I'll be out of town until Friday night and then home for the weekend and most of next week. If you wish to talk, please call anytime.

Sincerely,

John

John Rasmussen

    Reference: Fifteen months of unanswered letters

    Subject: Illegal taking of my land
    Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:02:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: ron.sims@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: Obeying the Law
    Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:15:46 -0700
    From: John Rasmussen johnras@ibm.net
    To: Gary Locke Governor.Locke@Governor.wa.gov

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    Subject: RCW 64.04.180
    Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 17:48:43 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: RE: RCW 64.04.180
    Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 09:05:11 -0700
    From: "Eldred, David" David.Eldred@METROKC.GOV
    To: "'issyras@ibm.net'" issyras@ibm.net

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    Subject: Re: RCW 64.04.180
    Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 14:15:38 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Eldred, David" David.Eldred@METROKC.GOV

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 08:47:30 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: Independence Day on the ELST
    Date: Sun, 04 Jul 1999 11:27:48 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" etc

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    Subject: SOS on ELST
    Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:32:39 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, "Fimia, Maggi" etc

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999 09:55:25 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: ELST-Crime in Progress
    Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 08:12:50 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 08:21:38 -0700
    From: Rasmussen issyras@ibm.net
    To: "Fimia, Maggi" Maggi.Fimia@METROKC.GOV
    CC: "'johnras@ibm.net'" johnras@ibm.net

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail, Draft EIS
    Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 15:36:45 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: dcfm.sepacomments@metrokc.gov
    CC: "Fimia, Maggi" , etc

    To: Cheryl Fambles Director, Department of Construction Facilities and Management
    From: John Rasmussen 1605 E. Lk. Sammamish Place S.E., Sammamish, WA
    Subject: Written Comments on the Draft EIS, East Lake Sammamish Trail

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    Subject: Statement
    Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 14:38:09 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: [Fwd: Statement
    ] Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 13:29:03 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 17:10:50 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Maleng, Norm" Norm.Maleng@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: ELST
    Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 15:59:37 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Eldred, David" david.eldred@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: East Lake Sammamish Trail
    Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 20:43:51 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Irons, David" david.irons@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: [Fwd: East Lake Sammamish Trail]
    Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 09:04:46 -0800
    From: Rasmussen issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Reichert, Dave" dave.reichert@metrokc.gov

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    Subject: ELST "The Trail of Shame"
    Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 11:57:37 -0800
    From: John Rasmussen johnras@attglobal.net
    Reply-To: issyras@attglobal.net
    To: "Sims, Ron" ron.sims@metrokc.gov, etc,

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Next Letter is Sims letter 8-24-00, which begins the King County v. Rasmussen lawsuit.

The Sims letter was submitted to Federal District Court as Exhibit 8.



Note from John Rasmussen:

    This series of fifty-seven letters was attached to my declaration to Judge Donald Haley in King County Superior Court. The letters document my fifteen-month campaign to communicate with King County government relating to its criminal actions in establishing the East Lake Sammamish Trail. The letters describe the stonewalling and lies used by King County to hide its illegal activity. The most important letter was my "whistle blower" letter to the King County leadership on February 7, 2000 which described King County's participation in the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme. My letters were ignored until I indicated my intention to block further illegal trespass with a shotgun. My intention to stand up against the corruption in King County with a gun was then presented to the public, and in King County Superior court, as an intention to illegally harm innocent county employees. The King County Prosecutor produced perjurious declarations which stated outright lies about me. I was not allowed to explain my intentions or defend myself against these false accusations. I have never been able to get answers from the County to the questions I posed in these letters. The federal tax fraud scheme used to establish the Trail has been successfully covered up by the county, the courts, and the press. This website is the only public exposure of the crime.

    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)