Audio Report

Curry County Commissioner candidate Shelia Megson says an “overzealous, unqualified” building inspector “attempted to trample on our rights” when an “unsafe to occupy” notice was posted on property she owns and shares with Bill Bailey in Sixes in November of 2018. A public records request chronicled several visits by at least two County employees to the property and include notes from conversations about multiple alleged violations. In these records, Megson admits the project was being built without plans or permits and by unlicensed contractors.

The Curry County Building inspector who posted the building unsafe to occupy was Richard Stauffer. Commissioners Tom Huxley and Sue Gold voted to hire Stauffer in the Fall of 2018 over the objections of Curry County Commissioner Court Boice. Boice claimed at the time in an open letter to curry citizens that Stauffer was inexperienced and uncertified. Stauffer is a licensed State of Oregon Building Official who was fired in January of 2019, immediately after Christopher Paasch was elected to replace Tom Huxley as a Curry County Commissioner; but before his firing, in December of 2018, Stauffer reportedly penned a detailed, dated account of what appears to be interference and preferential treatment by Commissioner Boice with regard to the Megson/Bailey alleged code violations.

That account claims Stauffer was asked to meet with Boice and Bill Bailey on December 3, 2018, about the unsafe to occupy notice. In his notes, Stauffer says he was unfamiliar with Bailey, because his interactions had been, until then, exclusively with Megson. According to Stauffer’s notes, Bailey said he refused to abide by any code actions that had been handed down so far by Curry County, and Boice told Stauffer that the not safe to occupy notice would not be enforced. Stauffer also says he was provided a response letter from Bailey. Megson says the case was “closed and supposed to be disposed of” and says her attorney has advised her not to share any additional documents. Boice says he has different views and recollections about the meeting between Stauffer, Bailey, and himself.

Sources have confirmed that Stauffer’s account was part of the Megson/Bailey file, but Stauffer’s notes were not part of the public records released by the County, nor was the response letter from Bailey. Sources familiar with the case also say there were photographs of the alleged code violations taken at the property, but no photos were attached to the information released by the County as part of the Public Records request. Information seems to be missing from the file, and it appears to still be an open case.

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