Você está na página 1de 114

Deposition of John Pennington Block v.

Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management


BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 1
1 THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
2 IN AND FOR SKAGIT COUNTY
3
________________________________________________________
4
ANNE BLOCK, )
5 )
Plaintiff, )
6 )
vs. )
7 )No. 11-2-01357-2
SNOHOMISH COUNTY )
8 DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY )
MANAGEMENT, )
9 )
Defendant. )
10
________________________________________________________
11
12
13
14 DEPOSITION UPON ORAL EXAMINATION
OF
15 JOHN PENNINGTON
16
17
Taken at
18 3000 Rockefeller Avenue
Everett, Washington 98201-4046
19
20
21
22
23
24
DATE TAKEN: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
25 REPORTED BY: Sherilynn McKay, RMR, CRR, CCR 3236
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 2
1 A P P E A R A N C E S
2
3 FOR ANNE K. BLOCK, ESQ.
PLAINTIFF: LAW OFFICE OF ANNE K. BLOCK
4 115 3/4 W. Main Street
Suite 204 Old Savoy Building
5 Monroe, Washington 98272
lifeisgood357@comcast.net
6
FOR SARA Di VITTORIO, ESQ.
7 DEFENDANT: SEAN D. REAY, ESQ.
SNOHOMISH COUNTY
8 3000 Rockefeller Avenue
M/S 504
9 Everett, Washington 98201-4046
sara.di.vittorio@snoco.org
10 sreay@snoco.org
11
12 ALSO PRESENT
Krista Dashtestani, Paralegal,
13 Law Office of Anne K. Block
14 Robert G. Lenz, Operations Manager,
Snohomish County
15
16 *******
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 3
1 I N D E X
2
3 EXAMINATION PAGE
JOHN PENNINGTON
4 EXAMINATION BY MS. BLOCK........................ 5
5
6 - - -
7
E X H I B I T S
8
PAGE
9 Exhibit 1 ......................................
E-mail chain, top e-mail dated 4/5/09 from 15
10 hillcrystald@aol.com to
jepennington@verizon.net
11
Exhibit 2 ......................................
12 Access document 30
13 Exhibit 3 ......................................
web page, Zimbra Collaboration Suite, 44
14 8/11/10
15 Exhibit 4 ......................................
Web page, Zimbra Collaboration Suite, 46
16 5/20/10
17 Exhibit 5 ......................................
Declaration of Susan Forbes, 4/2/12 47
18
Exhibit 6 ......................................
19 E-mail string, top e-mail dated 5/2610 57
from hillcystald@aol.com to
20 jepennington@verizon.net
21 Exhibit 7 ......................................
E-mail string, top e-mail dated 7/222/09 60
22 from Kevin Prentiss to John Pennington
23 Exhibit 8 ......................................
E-mail dated 6/8/09 from John Pennington 61
24 to Diana Rose
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 4
1 Exhibit 9 ......................................
E-mail chain, top e-mail dated 12/13/10 63
2 from John Pennington to Larry Calter
3 Exhibit 10 .....................................
Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories 77
4
Exhibit 11 .....................................
5 Complaint for Access to Public Records 90
6 Exhibit 12 .....................................
Claim for Damage Form 98
7
8
9 - - -
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 5
1 SEATTLE, WASHINGTON; May 1, 2012
2 10:18 a.m.
3 -o0o-
4
5 JOHN PENNINGTON witness herein, having
6 been first duly sworn on
7 oath, was examined and
8 testified as follow:
9
10 EXAMINATION
11 BY MS. BLOCK:
12 Q. My name is Anne Block. I'm here to depose John
13 Pennington in Block versus Snohomish County. Today is
14 May 1st, and it's approximately 10:20 a.m.
15 Mr. Pennington, have you ever been deposed
16 before?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When?
19 A. I was deposed through two family law cases, and
20 have been deposed for a traffic accident back when I was
21 a teenager.
22 Q. I'm sorry. I'm hearing impaired, so I'm going
23 to ask that you speak up a little bit here. So if you
24 could repeat the last statement that you made about the
25 car accident.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 6
1 A. Car accident, as a teenager, I was a witness.
2 Q. Okay. Could you spell your legal name for the
3 record?
4 A. My name is John Edward Pennington, Junior.
5 J-O-H-N, E-D-W-A-R-D, Pennington, P-E-N-N-I-N-G-T-O-N.
6 Q. Could you tell me where you're employment.
7 A. The Snohomish County Department of Emergency
8 Management.
9 Q. Who is your direct report?
10 A. My direct report is to Gary Haakenson, deputy
11 executive.
12 Q. Do you have any health problems that would
13 prevent you from telling the truth today?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you realize that you're under oath here today
16 and it carries the same weight as though you're in a
17 court of law?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In preparation for your deposition today, who
20 have you spoken to?
21 A. The two individuals in this room, Sean Reay and
22 Sara Di Vittorio.
23 Q. Mr. Pennington, do you understand why you're
24 here today?
25 A. No, I do not.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 7
1 Q. Plaintiff Anne Block filed a public records
2 request to the Department of Emergency Management, and
3 basically the Department of Emergency Management claimed
4 that it didn't withhold any records, and it didn't
5 provide an exemption log for the withheld records.
6 That's pretty much a public records suit. Are you
7 familiar with the Public Records Act?
8 A. I'm familiar with elements of the Public Records
9 Act.
10 Q. Tell me what you know.
11 A. I'm not the public records officer for my
12 department, so I am not that familiar with the Public
13 Records Act.
14 Q. Okay. Well, tell me what you do know.
15 A. Retention of public records, holding onto them
16 if they are in the public's interest.
17 Q. Would you consider an e-mail to be a public
18 record?
19 A. Yes, I would.
20 Q. Could you tell me what classes you've taken to
21 support the Public Records Act? Have you taken any
22 class whatsoever?
23 A. We've had internal training at the Department of
24 Emergency Management in the past couple of years.
25 Q. Okay. Tell me a little bit about your training.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 8
1 A. It was just training. It was an understanding
2 of retention schedules, an overview, but my direct
3 involvement with that has basically been just to archive
4 e-mails.
5 Q. Do you have any agreements with anyone, any City
6 entity, public official, which in any way relates to the
7 e-mails that are in question in this lawsuit?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Does the County, to the best of your knowledge,
10 have any agreements with any City government official,
11 past or present, which in any way relates to this
12 lawsuit?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You mentioned that you would archive e-mails.
15 Tell me exactly how you would archive e-mails.
16 A. I place e-mails after an extensive period of
17 time into what I believe is called the P drive. I have
18 archive folders for 2010, '11, pre-2007. Basically when
19 my in boxes start filling up I archive them in what is
20 known as a P drive.
21 Q. In this particular suit, e-mails that are
22 relevant to this suit, where exactly are the e-mails
23 that are in question in this suit?
24 A. I've not done anything with those e-mails other
25 than keep them on the system. They've been --
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 9
1 Q. Did you have any discussions with anybody in the
2 County besides counsel here which in any way relates to
3 these e-mail records?
4 A. I need you to clarify that question.
5 Q. Okay. Have you had any discussions with anybody
6 which in any way relates to the e-mails that are in
7 question in this lawsuit, besides counsel here?
8 A. Yes. Diana Rose, my public records officer,
9 inside the department.
10 Q. So tell me a little something about your
11 conversations with Diana Rose.
12 A. My conversations with Diana Rose have basically
13 been about what the process is in this lawsuit of
14 retracting e-mails from the system.
15 Q. Did you ever instruct her to withhold any
16 e-mails?
17 A. I've never instructed Diana Rose to do anything
18 with e-mails.
19 Q. So if the City of Gold Bar released e-mails that
20 the County didn't release, for example, that were
21 relevant to your communication, do you have any idea
22 where those e-mails might be?
23 A. That's not my determination. That's the City of
24 Gold Bar's determination.
25 Q. Okay. It's -- if it's your e-mail
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 10
1 communication, would you agree that it's your public
2 record?
3 A. I want you have to ask the question again.
4 Q. Okay. If it's your e-mail, if this is your
5 e-mail communication, and it relates to County business,
6 would you agree that that's a public record?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And so if the County didn't turn over
9 e-mails that were communication from you to the City of
10 Gold Bar in any way, that would be a public record,
11 would it not?
12 A. I'm trying to understand your question, of
13 whether or not you're trying to get me to define what a
14 public record is or is not.
15 Q. You haves already defined what a public record
16 was, Mr. Pennington. Now I'm asking you if a public
17 record was not turned over by the County, but it was
18 turned over by the City of Gold Bar, and it had -- it
19 was your communication, and not somebody else's in the
20 County, in other words, just yours, would you say that
21 if out were about County business, that it should have
22 been turned over?
23 A. I'm not going to answer that question because I
24 think it's not an appropriate -- there's not an
25 appropriate answer. I do not have anything to do with
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 11
1 what is released from my department about my e-mails.
2 If Gold Bar has released an e-mail, and the County has
3 not, I am not that individual who knows anything about
4 it.
5 Q. Okay. So how do you know Crystal Hill?
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. That goes beyond
7 the scope of both this deposition --
8 MS. BLOCK: No, it does not go beyond the scope.
9 MS. Di VITTORIO: Please, let me have my
10 objection for the record, Ms. Block.
11 MS. BLOCK: Go for it.
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: Thank you.
13 The scope of this deposition is Public Records
14 Act, and their production of public records. His
15 relationship and/or knowledge of Crystal Hill is not
16 relevant to those determinations.
17 You can go ahead and answer the question,
18 Mr. Pennington.
19 THE WITNESS: You are all aware that Crystal
20 Hill is my wife.
21 BY MS. BLOCK:
22 Q. Let's go back. Let me clarify that request. In
23 2009, from January 1st, 2009, through June 1st, 2010,
24 who were you married to?
25 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. It goes beyond the
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 12
1 scope of this deposition. This lawsuit is about public
2 records requests submitted between April of 2009 and
3 November of 2010. Who he was married to at any time in
4 that time period is not relevant to the issues before
5 the court, and I would ask you to rephrase your
6 question.
7 MS. BLOCK: I'm not going to rephrase my
8 question.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. Answer the question, Mr. Pennington.
11 A. I'm not going to answer the question.
12 Q. Mr. Pennington, you're under a court order today
13 to answer a question. All I'm asking you is to
14 basically tell me what your relationship was during the
15 time period that's relevant to this suit between you and
16 Crystal Hill.
17 MS. Di VITTORIO: So is your question who was he
18 married to between April of 2009 --
19 MS. BLOCK: I need to know who he was married
20 to --
21 MS. Di VITTORIO: -- and November -- can you
22 please let me speak, so we're not doing -- over the
23 court reporter?
24 MS. BLOCK: Ms. Di Vittorio, you're interfering
25 with my deposition. If you want to depose your client,
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 13
1 feel free to. This is my deposition here today. Okay?
2 MS. Di VITTORIO: Ms. Block --
3 MS. BLOCK: You're interrupting over questions
4 that are absolutely relevant to the issue at hand, and I
5 have a right to establish a foundation here. All I'm
6 asking Mr. Pennington -- I'm not interested in his
7 personal relationship. All I'm asking him is who was he
8 married to at the time. This establishes that he was
9 not married to Crystal Hill.
10 MS. Di VITTORIO: So is your question was he
11 married to Crystal Hill during the time period relevant
12 to this lawsuit?
13 BY MS. BLOCK:
14 Q. Were you married to Crystal Hill between
15 April 1st, 2009, and June 1st, 2010?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you know what her position was,
18 Mr. Pennington, at the time between the lawsuit -- these
19 are all going to be relevant to the time period of the
20 lawsuit.
21 MS. Di VITTORIO: I appreciate your specificity,
22 Ms. Block. Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: Crystal Hill was the mayor of Gold
24 Bar for a portion of that period of time.
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 14
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. During that time period, during the time period
3 that's relevant to the suit -- which that's what we're
4 going to stick to, Sara -- did you ever send e-mail
5 communication to her?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And between April 1st, 2009, and May 31st, 2009,
8 did you send e-mail communication to her during that
9 time period? Would that be a probable e-mail release?
10 Would you have sent an e-mail to her?
11 MS. Di VITTORIO: I think that was two separate
12 questions.
13 MS. BLOCK: Okay. Yeah.
14 BY MS. BLOCK:
15 Q. Would you have communicated with her via e-mail
16 during that time period?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. And during the time period of April 2009
19 through April 30th, 2009, if I told you that the County
20 turned over one e-mail during that relevant time period
21 for your entire e-mail communication, would that be kind
22 of shocking to you?
23 MS. Di VITTORIO: Are you talking communication
24 with Ms. Hill?
25 MS. BLOCK: I'm talking in general, all e-mail
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 15
1 communication from you, from your communication system,
2 that they turned over one e-mail in April 1st, 2009,
3 through April 30th, 2009.
4 THE WITNESS: I really don't have any emotion or
5 response to it.
6 BY MS. BLOCK:
7 Q. How many e-mails a day do you receive,
8 Mr. Pennington?
9 A. Probably between 50 and a hundred.
10 Q. Could you tell me for the record what e-mail
11 addresses you use?
12 A. Yeah. John.pennington@co.snohomish.wa.us,
13 john.pennington@snoco.org, johnepennington@yahoo.com,
14 jepennington@frontier.net, it used to be
15 jepennington@verizon.net, and onegoldenboy@yahoo.com.
16 Q. So for any of these e-mails that you just
17 listed, could you tell me whether or not you've used any
18 of them for County business?
19 A. No, not for County business.
20 (Exhibit 1 was marked.)
21 BY MS. BLOCK:
22 Q. Have you had a chance to review this,
23 Mr. Pennington?
24 A. Uh-huh.
25 Q. Can you tell me a little bit about what this
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 16
1 e-mail is, and who it's from, who started the e-mail?
2 A. Well, it appears to be an e-mail from me.
3 Actually, it appears to be an e-mail that originated
4 with William Ekse, E-K-S-E. He is the urban area
5 security initiative, or UASI, Homeland Security director
6 for my department. He sent to me an e-mail that was
7 regarding funding for Snohomish County through this
8 particular federal grant over a period of time. It
9 appears as though he forwarded that to me on Friday,
10 April the 3rd.
11 I in turn sent that to my direct employers,
12 although it appears as though in this train that the
13 e-mail address from which it came is not included. It
14 went to my supervisors, and then it appears as though I
15 forwarded that e-mail to myself at Verizon.net so that I
16 could show my wife what a good job my department has
17 done.
18 Q. Well, you raise an interesting point. Being
19 that you raised it, we will ask you again the question,
20 since you brought it up, Mr. Pennington, on April 5th,
21 2009, when the e-mail was recorded, were you married to
22 Crystal Hill, your wife, at the time?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So it would be correct on April 5th, 2009, she
25 wasn't your wife.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 17
1 A. I think we've established that.
2 Q. Okay. That's fine.
3 So can you explain to me why this e-mail would
4 not have been turned over from the County?
5 A. I had no knowledge of what records have and
6 haven't been turned over from either Gold Bar or the
7 County.
8 Q. And so let's talk a little bit about Gold Bar,
9 being that this is really a Gold Bar e-mail that was
10 accidentally released. When is the last time you had
11 any conversations with anybody from the City of Gold
12 Bar?
13 MS. Di VITTORIO: Again, relevance. I'll
14 object. This is about production under the Public
15 Records Act of e-mails between April of 2009 and
16 November of 2010.
17 I am assuming based on your previous statement
18 that you're asking him to confine his answer to the time
19 period relevant to this lawsuit.
20 MS. BLOCK: That's absolutely right, and that is
21 still a standing statement.
22 THE WITNESS: What are the relevant dates?
23 BY MS. BLOCK:
24 Q. The relevant dates are April 1st, 2009, through
25 November 6, 2010.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 18
1 A. What is the question?
2 Q. The question is, Mr. Pennington, when is the
3 last time that you had any conversations with anybody
4 from the City of Gold Bar.
5 MS. Di VITTORIO: Between April 1st, 2009, and
6 November 6, 2010.
7 MS. BLOCK: And that is a standing. We're here
8 over public records, Mr. Pennington, that weren't turned
9 over.
10 THE WITNESS: If you'd like for me to answer the
11 question, I don't know who I met with within that time
12 frame from the City of Gold Bar, but I assure it
13 probably was either John Light, who is the public
14 records director, I probably appeared before the City
15 Council, because I'm pretty sure your organization was
16 videotaping me there, and anyone else such as Denise
17 Beaston, in the course of my work as emergency manager.
18 BY MS. BLOCK:
19 Q. Do you know who Joe Beavers is?
20 A. I'm very familiar with Joe Beavers. He's the
21 current mayor of Gold Bar.
22 Q. Okay. Could you tell me when the last time is
23 you spoke to Joe Beavers?
24 MS. Di VITTORIO: During the time period
25 relevant to --
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 19
1 MS. BLOCK: I said, Sara, this is the standing
2 statement.
3 MS. Di VITTORIO: And I appreciate that, but for
4 the clarity of the witness, it's probably useful to be
5 specific when you're saying questions like when was the
6 last time.
7 MS. BLOCK: We're leaving it as a standing.
8 April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010, that is the
9 relevant time period during this lawsuit.
10 THE WITNESS: Is there a question?
11 BY MS. BLOCK:
12 Q. I just asked you a question, Mr. Pennington.
13 A. I heard a statement. Would you repeat the
14 question?
15 Q. Yeah, sure.
16 MS. BLOCK: Court reporter, could you repeat the
17 last question that I asked Mr. Pennington, about
18 Mr. Beavers?
19 (The record was read by the reporter as follows:
20 "Question: Could you tell me when the last time
21 is you spoke to Joe Beavers?")
22 THE WITNESS: Between that time frame, I don't
23 remember meeting with Joe Beavers outside of perhaps one
24 time a general meeting with him for breakfast to get to
25 know him.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 20
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. When was that?
3 A. I don't recall.
4 Q. What was the conversation about?
5 A. The conversation was about him potentially
6 running for mayor.
7 Q. So you had a conversation with Joe Beavers. Did
8 Mr. Beavers ever meet at your house?
9 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Relevance. How
10 does that relate --
11 MS. BLOCK: During the time period.
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: How does that relate to the
13 public records request -- can I please finish my
14 statement?
15 MS. BLOCK: You're interrupting my deposition.
16 If this continues --
17 MS. Di VITTORIO: It will continue as long as
18 your question ceases to be relevant to the facts of this
19 lawsuit.
20 MS. BLOCK: This is my deposition. If you want
21 to depose Mr. Pennington yourself, you can do that.
22 Otherwise, unless you have a valid objection here, I'm
23 asking that you clearly state it for me. Just objecting
24 saying -- questioning my questions is not going to hold
25 water here today. Okay? This is not your forum. This
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 21
1 is mine. You want to reverse that and depose
2 Mr. Pennington, that is your choice. This is my
3 deposition today. I asked Mr. Pennington when, if he
4 ever met with Joe Beavers at his house.
5 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Relevance. The
6 scope of this lawsuit is what records were turned over
7 in response to a public records request for the time
8 period between April 1st, 2009, and November 6th, 2010.
9 Whether or not he met with anyone at his home is not
10 indicative of whether or not a public record was created
11 or produced.
12 MS. BLOCK: Okay.
13 BY MS. BLOCK:
14 Q. Mr. Pennington, did Joe Beavers ever meet with
15 you at your home to discuss public records that are
16 relevant to this suit?
17 MS. Di VITTORIO: Go ahead and answer the
18 question.
19 THE WITNESS: No.
20 BY MS. BLOCK:
21 Q. Have you actually ever reviewed any deposition
22 transcript of Joe Beavers?
23 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Relevance.
24 MS. BLOCK: During the time period. Again,
25 Sarah, I told you that there is a standing time period,
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 22
1 April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010.
2 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection, relevance as to the
3 issues of this lawsuit.
4 Go ahead and answer the question.
5 THE WITNESS: I'm not even sure I understand the
6 question.
7 BY MS. BLOCK:
8 Q. Mr. Pennington, I asked you whether or not
9 you've ever reviewed a deposition transcript of Gold
10 Bar's mayor, Joseph Beavers.
11 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. The same
12 objection.
13 Go ahead and answer.
14 THE WITNESS: No.
15 BY MS. BLOCK:
16 Q. Do you believe Mr. Beavers to be an honest
17 person?
18 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Relevance as to
19 the issues of this lawsuit.
20 Go ahead and answer.
21 THE WITNESS: I have no opinion one way or the
22 other.
23 I'd like to take a break.
24 MS. Di VITTORIO: We can do that.
25 MS. BLOCK: Sure.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 23
1 Off the record, please.
2 (A break was taken from 10:41 a.m. to 10:44 a.m.)
3 MS. Di VITTORIO: So on the record we'd like to
4 note a standing objection to any questions that go
5 beyond the subject matter of this lawsuit, which are
6 records, public records requested for the time period of
7 April 1st, 2009, through November 6th, 2010.
8 THE WITNESS: And what date?
9 MS. Di VITTORIO: November 1st.
10 And the search for those responsive records.
11 Thank you.
12 MS. BLOCK: And I'm going to actually counter
13 that for the record, so I can actually see that on the
14 transcript that we're today talking about public records
15 disseminated by or received by Mr. Pennington from
16 April 1st, 2009, through November, I believe 6th, 2010.
17 MS. Di VITTORIO: I apologize. It is the
18 November 6th. Thank you.
19 MS. BLOCK: So anything within the scope of that
20 falls within the court order by Judge Meyers, in my
21 opinion.
22 BY MS. BLOCK:
23 Q. Between 2009 and 2010, the areas that are
24 relevant to this lawsuit, were you assigned any kind of
25 computer system, Mr. Pennington, such as a laptop
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 24
1 device?
2 A. No, not within that time frame at all. Just
3 my -- I think that I had a new computer put in, and I
4 can't remember the exact date, but the old one was
5 outdated, and I have no idea when that was.
6 Q. So would that be between the relevant dates?
7 A. I said I don't know.
8 Q. Okay. And I'm hearing impaired, so I'm going to
9 ask that you speak up a little bit.
10 A. I said I don't know.
11 Q. Okay. I only have 65 percent hearing in my
12 right ear, my left ear is completely deaf.
13 During the relevant time period, were you
14 assigned any Blackberry devices?
15 A. I was.
16 Q. During 2009, how many Blackberry devices were
17 you assigned?
18 A. I only carried one Blackberry, and that
19 Blackberry may have been changed out over time because
20 of technology advances. I don't recall.
21 Q. So from 2009 you were using a Blackberry device.
22 A. Yep.
23 Q. Was it the same Blackberry device in 2010?
24 A. I don't recall.
25 Q. Okay. So would it be fair to say that you were
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 25
1 using a Blackberry device in 2010 as well?
2 A. That's fair to say.
3 Q. Has anyone searched the Blackberry device for
4 responsive records to this lawsuit?
5 A. All I know is that the records have been
6 researched and every e-mail that I've sent has been
7 pulled off the computer through the Department of
8 Information Services.
9 Q. So if an e-mail showed up from you to the City
10 of Gold Bar during the relevant time period, but it
11 wasn't turned over from the County, would there be any
12 reason why that might happen?
13 A. I have no idea. That is not my decision.
14 Q. So you mentioned Diana Rose a little earlier.
15 She's the public records officer for your department?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you ever have any communications with her
18 about the e-mails that are relevant to this suit?
19 A. We've had conversations about e-mails, and the
20 process, more than anything else.
21 Q. Tell me about the process that you're referring
22 to in your last statement.
23 A. The process is I write, send e-mails, I receive
24 e-mails, she takes e-mail requests from you, which are
25 30 percent of my department's budget now, and she deals
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 26
1 with them, and I don't see them again. That is the
2 process.
3 Q. So she basically would then go get the records?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Okay. All right.
6 Now, the reason why we're here today is because
7 we're getting records from one place and not getting
8 them from the other place, which is the County hasn't
9 turned over their records. Now, we talked a little bit
10 about Diana Rose, and how she's the public records
11 officer for your department. Do you know if Diana Rose
12 is part of the public disclosure committee for Snohomish
13 County?
14 A. I do not know that.
15 Q. Would you have any knowledge whether or not
16 she's having any meetings about records that are
17 relevant to this suit with the Snohomish County
18 executor?
19 A. I don't know the organization you're talking
20 about. Diana Rose is my finance and admin specialist.
21 She is the finance and administration section chief in
22 the emergency operation center, and because of these
23 lawsuits and other issues she is the public records
24 officer for the Department of Emergency Management, who
25 she liaisons with. Outside of that, I don't know.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 27
1 Q. Let me ask you a question about your
2 supervision. Do you supervise Ms. Rose?
3 A. No, I do not.
4 Q. She's not a direct report to you?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. So who is she a direct report to, to the best of
7 your knowledge?
8 A. It's not to the best of my knowledge, it is my
9 knowledge.
10 Q. Okay. Great.
11 A. Tamara Doherty, D-O-H-E-R-T-Y, my deputy
12 director.
13 Q. So who exactly would you supervise in your
14 department? I'm trying to understand the dynamics of
15 your department in the public records here. Now, you
16 don't supervise Diana Rose, she directly reports to
17 Tamara Doherty. So who in your department would report
18 directly to you?
19 A. Doherty Doherty.
20 Q. So that's the only person in your department.
21 So that's the one person that you supervise?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So has Ms. Doherty ever received a public
24 records request that's relevant to this suit, or
25 searched the records in any way?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 28
1 A. I have no idea.
2 Q. So Ms. Doherty is --
3 A. Her name is pronounced Doherty.
4 Q. Okay. Well, excuse me, Mr. Pennington, I am
5 hearing impaired, so you're going to be hearing a little
6 speech impediment here, and you're just going to have to
7 suffer with that.
8 So Ms. Doherty, her function at Department of
9 Emergency Management, what is exactly her job title?
10 A. She is the deputy director for the Department of
11 Emergency Management.
12 Q. So has Ms. Doherty ever searched the records?
13 A. I believe I answered that I don't know.
14 Q. Okay. You said you don't know. Okay.
15 So how do you know Ms. Doherty outside, let's
16 say Department of Emergency Management, other than
17 Department of Emergency Management? Do you know what
18 her background is?
19 A. I do.
20 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
21 objection.
22 Go ahead and answer.
23 THE WITNESS: I was the director of Federal
24 Emergency Management Agency for Region 10. You're well
25 aware of that. Tamara Doherty was my deputy director at
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 29
1 the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Region 10.
2 BY MS. BLOCK:
3 Q. Okay. So Tamara Doherty followed you over from
4 FEMA to the County.
5 A. No. Tamara Doherty retired, and then she
6 applied to be the deputy director and I hired her.
7 Q. Okay. All right. So you hired Tamara Doherty
8 as the deputy director. When did you hire her? What
9 year?
10 A. I don't recall. I believe 2007.
11 Q. Do you know who Chuck Lie is?
12 A. No, I do not.
13 I know who Chuck Lie is. I have never met or
14 talked to him personally. I know who he is, only
15 through you and your website.
16 Q. You've never met Mr. Lie personally?
17 A. I have presented I think one time to the City of
18 Gold Bar, that he may have been a City Council member
19 there, but I do not recall meeting him ever personally.
20 Q. As director of Emergency Management, do you
21 possess Homeland Security clearance?
22 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew the standing
23 objection.
24 Go ahead and answer.
25 THE WITNESS: I'm not going to answer that
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 30
1 question because of my responsibilities and duties to
2 the Department of Emergency Management and other
3 responsibilities I may have as a federal employee.
4 BY MS. BLOCK:
5 Q. Well, Mr. Pennington, you're here today on a
6 court order. You do have to answer the questions
7 whether you like it or not.
8 A. I respectfully decline answering that question.
9 Q. Mr. Pennington, you're here under court order to
10 answer the questions.
11 A. I respectfully decline.
12 Q. Your attorney made an objection. I want an
13 answer whether you hold Homeland Security clearance.
14 A. I respectfully decline to answer the question.
15 MS. BLOCK: Exhibit 2.
16 (Exhibit 2 was marked.)
17 BY MS. BLOCK:
18 Q. To the best of your knowledge, when you get a
19 chance to review those, could you tell me what exactly
20 this is a copy of? And this is just to the best of your
21 recollection.
22 A. I am under the impression that this is what I
23 now understand is an access document, and I do not
24 understand what access stands for, and I see your name
25 all throughout it.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 31
1 Q. Mr. Pennington, if you believe this to be an
2 access record, because it took me some time to figure
3 out how to get my hands on this access record, if you're
4 coming through the page, through the middle of the first
5 page, right through to the last page, you mention that
6 you see that it was my record, or at least it appears to
7 be.
8 A. I'd like to clarify. No. I don't know what
9 this document is, but I do know that that is what I
10 believe your name is.
11 Q. Okay. All right. I appreciate that.
12 If council member Chuck Lie stated that you
13 disseminated this record, via e-mail communication in
14 the County, would that be a true statement?
15 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Calls for
16 speculation, and --
17 MS. BLOCK: During the relevant time period,
18 Sara.
19 MS. Di VITTORIO: And the standing objection.
20 Go ahead and answer the question.
21 THE WITNESS: Can you repeat the question?
22 MS. BLOCK: Court reporter, could you repeat the
23 last question.
24 (The record was read by the reporter as follows:
25 "Question: If council member Chuck Lie stated
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 32
1 that you disseminated this record, via e-mail
2 communication in the County, would that be a true
3 statement?")
4 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. State it again.
5 (The record was read by the reporter as above
6 recorded.)
7 THE WITNESS: No, I don't believe that that's a
8 true statement.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. On Exhibit 2, Mr. Pennington, is that the first
11 time that you've seen Exhibit 2?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Where else have you seen that?
14 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. The standing
15 objection.
16 Go ahead and answer.
17 THE WITNESS: I saw this about three weeks ago,
18 three to four weeks ago, when it was sent to my house.
19 BY MS. BLOCK:
20 Q. Somebody sent that to your house?
21 A. It was sent --
22 MS. Di VITTORIO: Standing objection.
23 Go ahead and answer.
24 THE WITNESS: Sure. It was sent to my house and
25 was sent to my wife, the former mayor of Gold Bar, and I
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 33
1 believe that it was material that was -- documents that
2 you had submitted in recall petitions.
3 BY MS. BLOCK:
4 Q. A recall petition for who?
5 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Standing
6 objection.
7 Go ahead and answer.
8 THE WITNESS: I don't recall. But I have seen
9 this document.
10 BY MS. BLOCK:
11 Q. So somebody submitted it to you, and your
12 testimony here today is that's the only other time that
13 you actually saw that document, was three weeks ago?
14 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew the standing
15 objection for the line of questioning related to this
16 document.
17 Go ahead and answer.
18 THE WITNESS: The only time that I have seen
19 this document in this format, and looked at anything
20 that resembles this, was when it arrived at my house via
21 standard mail, and I didn't know what it was, and I
22 still to this day don't understand how to read it.
23 BY MS. BLOCK:
24 Q. So during the time period that's relevant to
25 this lawsuit, did you ever disseminate either, to any
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 34
1 person, any nonconviction criminal history records, via
2 the County computer system?
3 A. No. Certainly not knowingly doing that, no.
4 Q. So how about unknowingly doing it?
5 A. Ms. Block, I don't know. I have not
6 disseminated this information. If I have disseminated
7 this information, I have never seen it, I've never
8 knowingly seen this document until three weeks ago. It
9 is the first time that I sat down and actually examined
10 it.
11 Q. Would you have access into the National
12 Corrections Image and Image Exchange Service over NLETS?
13 MS. Di VITTORIO: Standing objection.
14 Go ahead and answer.
15 THE WITNESS: No.
16 BY MS. BLOCK:
17 Q. How about Defense Security Service?
18 MS. Di VITTORIO: Standing objection.
19 THE WITNESS: No.
20 BY MS. BLOCK:
21 Q. Do you know who Matt Trafford is,
22 Mr. Pennington?
23 MS. Di VITTORIO: Can you say again? I didn't
24 hear it.
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 35
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. Matt Trafford, Matthew Trafford?
3 A. I know the name now, because of what you have
4 posted, and because of this lawsuit.
5 Q. So you say you know it now. So Matt Trafford
6 you didn't know until something that I posted? Is
7 that --
8 A. I asked the question whether or not Matt
9 Trafford may have been in our building for any training,
10 and no one could recall his name, but we don't remember,
11 we don't know. I do believe that there have been
12 conversations with somebody named Matt, but I can't find
13 the documents, I couldn't find him in the County system,
14 so I don't know.
15 Q. So you wouldn't have had any e-mail
16 communication with him between the time periods that are
17 relevant to this suit?
18 A. If I had any communications with him or anyone
19 with the Sheriff's Office, which he was with the
20 Sheriff's Office, it would have been regarding potential
21 criminal prosecution of you and charges against you for
22 cyber stalking, harassment and intimidation under
23 Washington state law.
24 Q. So Mr. Pennington, do you consider yourself to
25 be a public official?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 36
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Would you say that a public official is held to
3 a different standard under the law than a private
4 citizen? Do you believe that your e-mails are subject
5 to the Public Records Act?
6 A. I believe that my publicly relevant e-mails,
7 according to state law, are subject to state law, and
8 therefore available.
9 Q. Let's do a little bit of an adverse. So if the
10 County didn't produce a record that was relevant to your
11 County responsibilities, such as a FEMA flood insurance,
12 would you say that that was a public record that should
13 have been turned over?
14 A. I am not responsible for redaction or
15 withdrawing or holding back of any public records. I
16 send e-mails, I receive e-mails, I conduct my business,
17 and the lawsuit that you're talking about and that
18 process is out of my hands.
19 Q. You mention that you use several private e-mail
20 addresses. Tell me what other public officials you
21 communicated with during this time period on those
22 private e-mail addresses that you're using.
23 A. I forward --
24 MS. Di VITTORIO: Actually, I'm going to
25 continue the standing objection.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 37
1 Are you asking about communications he had that
2 were related to County business or any communications he
3 had with anybody who holds public employment?
4 MS. BLOCK: I just want to know if he's using
5 his private e-mail addresses for County business.
6 THE WITNESS: Occasionally, and on very rare
7 occasion, I will forward information from the County to
8 my Yahoo account or to previously the Verizon or
9 Frontier accounts. Those are primarily done for the
10 purposes of establishing redundant capability for the
11 department, documents that are relevant to the
12 department if the Department of Information Systems
13 servers go down, things that would only be utilized in
14 pretty dramatic circumstances, things that I would need
15 to access while I'm on vacation.
16 I would occasionally contact the department to
17 check in with my deputy or any of the employees if I was
18 on vacation, is everything going okay. That would have
19 been done through the Yahoo account, every once in a
20 while Frontier or Verizon, whoever I could essentially
21 access to check in.
22 I would also occasionally forward documents that
23 were between myself and the Federal Government that may
24 have come to Snohomish County or things that were not
25 relevant to Snohomish County, I would send them
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 38
1 sometimes to my Yahoo account, for things like teaching
2 back on the East Coast at the Emergency Management
3 Institute, things that were not County-related business.
4 Conversely, if I were at a particular training
5 on vacation time, on my own time, for Emergency
6 Management or Homeland Security, and I found some
7 particular part of a training relevant and potentially
8 beneficial to the County, I would sometimes forward that
9 immediately to snoco.org or the other Snohomish address
10 that I have.
11 So that's the limits of any business between the
12 two.
13 BY MS. BLOCK:
14 Q. So if you're using your private e-mail addresses
15 to send, forward, receive e-mails, how would the County
16 then be able to retrieve those?
17 A. If they have been sent, that's not my domain.
18 That's not my domain. They are captured through one of
19 the Snohomish County addresses, and at that point I'm
20 out of the picture. Somebody at that point is in the
21 process of addressing public records.
22 Q. Who would that be in the County here that's
23 relevant to your department?
24 A. I have no idea outside of Diana Rose.
25 Q. Are you familiar with a Mr. Hartley?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 39
1 A. I do know who Tom Hartley is, yes.
2 Q. Mr. Hartley, could you tell me, what he does for
3 the County?
4 A. No, I cannot.
5 Q. Has Mr. Hartley, during the time period that's
6 relevant here to the public records, has Mr. Hartley
7 ever contacted you via e-mail --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- and asked you whether or not he could -- what
10 he could retrieve from your personal computer system?
11 A. I believe that there was a formal request,
12 someone sent me a formal request to do the retraction or
13 to retract documents from me, and I approved that. And
14 that may have been Tom. I don't recall.
15 Q. So other than your Blackberry device, devices,
16 do you have any other electronic devices such as a
17 Kindle, an iPod, an iPad, anything that you can receive
18 or send e-mail communication on during that time period?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And do you know if you have ever been given a
21 copy of responsive records that have been withheld in
22 this suit?
23 A. I need clarification on what responsive
24 records --
25 Q. Have you ever been given a copy of a disk that
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 40
1 contains responsive records that were withheld in this
2 suit?
3 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Assumes facts not
4 in evidence.
5 Go ahead and answer.
6 THE WITNESS: I've not been given any
7 information regarding this.
8 BY MS. BLOCK:
9 Q. Between April 1st, 2009, to June 1st, 2010, was
10 Crystal Hill writing your Superior Court motions on any
11 of your divorce proceedings?
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew the standing
13 objection.
14 Go ahead and answer.
15 THE WITNESS: You are well aware that she was.
16 BY MS. BLOCK:
17 Q. You said I was well aware. How would you know
18 that I was well aware, Mr. Pennington?
19 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Renew the standing
20 objection.
21 Go ahead and answer.
22 THE WITNESS: Gladly. You post anything and
23 everything on the goldbarreporter.com.
24 BY MS. BLOCK:
25 Q. Okay. So you say I post everything on the Gold
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 41
1 Bar Reporter. Is there any reason to believe that it's
2 I? Where are you getting this information from?
3 MS. BLOCK: He made the statement,
4 Ms. Di Vittorio.
5 MS. Di VITTORIO: I can still object. Can you
6 please let me speak, and not speak over me?
7 MS. BLOCK: Well, don't speak over me either,
8 Sara, we'll have no problem in today's deposition, but
9 the way we're going here, it's going to go to 5, maybe
10 6.
11 MS. Di VITTORIO: Actually, it won't be going to
12 5, maybe 6, because we have an agreement that this will
13 last no longer than six hours. But I'll renew the
14 standing objection.
15 Go ahead and answer.
16 THE WITNESS: You are the Gold Bar Reporter.
17 I've done the research. I have documents that you've
18 put on the Gold Bar Reporter every day, every couple of
19 hours.
20 BY MS. BLOCK:
21 Q. Mr. Pennington, you say it's me. Are you aware
22 that there are three other people that are a part of
23 that Gold Bar Reporter besides Anne K. Block?
24 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew the standing objection.
25 Go ahead and answer.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 42
1 THE WITNESS: We're all very aware that you are
2 the owner of the Gold Bar Reporter website, that you
3 purchased -- that you also purchased
4 crystalhillpennington.com. We're also aware that you're
5 Michael Broaks, you're Mr. Broaks, you're a Snohomish
6 County blogger, and I'm very well aware of all of the
7 things that you have put on your website, because I've
8 been capturing it for three years.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. That is certainly the legal right to do that in
11 the United States, and I certainly support the First
12 Amendment, as you can see.
13 Let me ask you something else. Do you know who
14 owns the Seattle Times?
15 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Standing
16 objection.
17 Go ahead and answer.
18 THE WITNESS: No.
19 BY MS. BLOCK:
20 Q. How would you say that reporter, let's say,
21 Emily Heffter, would be -- Sara, he brought it up, so
22 we're going to go through it.
23 Emily Heffter, you would blame the Seattle Times
24 for things that Emily Heffter wrote? Would that be a
25 good analogy?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 43
1 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew the standing
2 objection.
3 Go ahead and answer.
4 MS. BLOCK: He's making very libelous statements
5 here on the County's behalf.
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew the standing
7 objection.
8 Go ahead and answer.
9 THE WITNESS: What's the question?
10 BY MS. BLOCK:
11 Q. The question is would you -- you don't know who
12 the owner of the Seattle Times is. Would you blame
13 Emily Heffter for the content of her writing or would
14 you blame the Seattle Times?
15 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Standing
16 objection.
17 Go ahead and answer.
18 THE WITNESS: I don't believe that the Gold Bar
19 Reporter, and I don't believe you are a journalist, or
20 that that is a journalistic publication. I don't know
21 how to answer your question, but I do know that you own
22 the Gold Bar Reporter, and I do know you post on me on a
23 routine basis things that are so factually incorrect
24 that they make me sick to my stomach.
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 44
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. Well, let's ask you one follow-up question on
3 that. Have you ever contacted the Gold Bar Reporter?
4 A. No.
5 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
6 objection prior to his answer.
7 You need to pause.
8 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
9 (Exhibit 3 was marked.)
10 BY MS. BLOCK:
11 Q. I'll give you a chance to review that.
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: I think we'd like to take a
13 short break.
14 MS. BLOCK: Sure.
15 MS. Di VITTORIO: Thank you. We'll go off the
16 record.
17 (A break was taken from 11:10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.)
18 BY MS. BLOCK:
19 Q. Mr. Pennington, did you have a chance to review
20 Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 3?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is that your writing?
23
24
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 45
1 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Goes beyond the
2 scope of his deposition.
3 BY MS. BLOCK:
4 Q. Okay, Mr. Pennington. What is the actual date
5 in the right-hand corner of that e-mail?
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: Standing objection.
7 Go ahead and answer.
8 THE WITNESS: August 11, 2010.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. So the relevant time period at question here is
11 April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010. Would that
12 letter fall within the scope of the lawsuit?
13 MS. Di VITTORIO: Standing objection.
14 Go ahead and answer.
15 THE WITNESS: August 11, 2010 would.
16 BY MS. BLOCK:
17 Q. Okay. All right. So could you tell me whether
18 or not you're the author of that e-mail?
19 MS. Di VITTORIO: Standing objection.
20 Go ahead and answer it.
21 THE WITNESS: I'm not the author of this e-mail.
22 BY MS. BLOCK:
23 Q. Do you understand what metadata is,
24 Mr. Pennington?
25 A. I do not.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 46
1 Q. Perhaps you should.
2 We'll give you another one.
3 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'm sorry. Was that a comment
4 that we needed to catch on the record?
5 MS. BLOCK: No, we don't -- here you go. This
6 is the next exhibit.
7 (Exhibit 4 was marked.)
8 BY MS. BLOCK:
9 Q. In the top right-hand corner, would it be
10 correct to say that it's July 20th, 2010, would be the
11 date on the e-mail of this exhibit?
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll go ahead and object, do a
13 standing objection to any line of questioning regarding
14 Exhibit 4.
15 Go ahead and answer.
16 THE WITNESS: It appears to be July 20th, 2010.
17 BY MS. BLOCK:
18 Q. And so would part of the topic of conversation
19 in this particular communication be Aaron Reardon?
20 A. I've not seen this e-mail before. I've not seen
21 any of this.
22 Q. So let me ask you whether or not you're the
23 author of this e-mail.
24 A. I am not the author of this e-mail.
25 Q. Earlier you mentioned the Gold Bar Reporter, and
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 47
1 in your declaration to the Court in the most recent
2 filings up in Skagit County you mentioned that myself
3 had posted pictures of your children on the Gold Bar
4 Reporter. Would that be a fair assessment of your
5 declaration to Skagit County?
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew my standing objection.
7 Go ahead and answer.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. And so you made this statement, and it's become
11 part of this suit by your statement to the Court, so I
12 guess I'd like to know what evidence you have to support
13 that.
14 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew the standing objection.
15 Go ahead and answer.
16 THE WITNESS: You posted the photos of my kids
17 and my wedding and the link on your website.
18 (Exhibit 5 was marked.)
19 BY MS. BLOCK:
20 Q. When you have a chance to read that,
21 Mr. Pennington, could you tell me who the author of that
22 document is?
23 A. It appears to be Susan Forbes, one of the Gold
24 Bar reporters.
25 Q. Okay. What's the content of this statement?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 48
1 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. The document
2 speaks for itself.
3 Go ahead and answer.
4 BY MS. BLOCK:
5 Q. In your own words, Mr. Pennington.
6 A. "I am a Gold Bar reporter and the Gold Bar
7 Reporter has never posted a picture of any of the
8 Pennington children or the names of the children."
9 Q. Mr. Pennington, we're here today because we,
10 basically, I did not get public records from Snohomish
11 County that I saw from the County of Gold Bar, and
12 currently under the Daines Ruling that's not
13 permissible. So I'm going to ask you a series of
14 questions regarding the time periods and for which I'd
15 like a yes or no answer to that, and whether or not
16 there's more responsive records during the time period
17 in question. The lawsuit is April 1st, 2009, through
18 November 6, 2010. In April 2009 I received, via a
19 public records request from your office, six e-mails for
20 April of 2009. Your testimony is that you receive, or
21 send, about 50 to a hundred. Do you have any idea where
22 the rest of the responsive records are?
23 A. I send and receive e-mails on a daily basis, and
24 once those e-mails are completed, I either archive them,
25 leave them in my in-box, and you submit your public
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 49
1 records request, I don't know what happens to them.
2 They are in a process that I am not involved with.
3 Q. So in May of 2009 I received 11 e-mails
4 responsive to my public records request which is subject
5 to this suit. Do you have any idea where the e-mails
6 are from May of 2009?
7 A. I'll reiterate that I send and receive e-mails
8 on a daily basis. Once they are completed I archive
9 them, I place them in P drives, they sit in my in-box,
10 they are retracted based on your request, your lawsuits,
11 and I am out of that process.
12 Q. And I'm going to ask you the same question for
13 June, where I received one, and I'm going to go down the
14 list, make it a little quicker. June 2009 I received
15 one e-mail for the entire month of June of 2009; 11
16 e-mails for July 2009; August, 37 e-mails, 2009;
17 September, 216, 2009; October 2009, 113; November 2009,
18 two; December 2009, two; January 2010, six;
19 February 2010, 19; April 2010, 16; May 2010, 131;
20 June 2010, 69; July 2010, 90. And that is exactly where
21 the cutoff point falls onto the Public Records Act;
22 however, what I did not receive were e-mails that were
23 responsive from the month of August, September, October,
24 November 2010. Do you have any idea where any of these
25 e-mails are during the time period?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 50
1 A. I'm going to reiterate that I send and receive
2 e-mails on a daily basis. Once they are done, I archive
3 them, I move them into P drives, they stay in my in-box.
4 If you request them, I am not involved in that process.
5 Q. Do you know who Larry Calter is?
6 A. Yes. Larry Calter is the former director for
7 the Department of Information Services.
8 Q. Do you know where Larry Calter is today?
9 A. I do not.
10 Q. Was Larry Calter involved in the collection,
11 inspection of the public records in this case?
12 A. I do not know.
13 Q. Did you ever send out an e-mail and ask for him
14 to inspect any of the servers, any of the computer
15 systems for records that are responsive to this request?
16 A. I do not recall that.
17 Q. Did you ever personally meet with Aaron Reardon
18 or anybody in his office which in any way relates to
19 this public records requests?
20 A. I believe that I have met with someone in the
21 executive's office, but -- and your name has come up,
22 but I don't know if it was regarding this lawsuit.
23 Q. Could you tell me why my name would have come up
24 in the executive's --
25 A. In the context of public records, Public Records
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 51
1 Act.
2 Q. And so since it's relevant to the Public Records
3 Act, could you tell me the content of that
4 communication?
5 A. I don't recall those conversations.
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: Move to strike his last
7 answer, insert the standing objection, and reinsert his
8 answer, please.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. So when you're meeting with the executor's
11 office, would it be fair to say that it was Peter Camp
12 that was involved in this meeting?
13 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew the standing objection.
14 Go ahead and answer.
15 THE WITNESS: I don't recall. I meet with Peter
16 Camp on occasion over a host of issues.
17 BY MS. BLOCK:
18 Q. Do you see Larry Calter today?
19 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Standing
20 objection.
21 You can ask the court reporter to repeat the
22 question.
23 (Question was read back.)
24 THE WITNESS: No.
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 52
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. When was the last time you actually spoke to
3 Larry Calter?
4 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Standing
5 objection.
6 Go ahead and answer.
7 THE WITNESS: I believe it was prior to him
8 leaving the County.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. What was that conversation about?
11 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew the standing objection.
12 Go ahead and answer.
13 THE WITNESS: I do not recall.
14 BY MS. BLOCK:
15 Q. Did you ever ask Mr. Calter to remove e-mails
16 which are subject to this lawsuit?
17 A. No.
18 Q. From April 1st, 2009, through June 30th, 2009,
19 did you ever send or receive racist comments regarding
20 President Obama?
21 MS. Di VITTORIO: On his County computer?
22 MS. BLOCK: It wouldn't matter, as long as it
23 was County business, or excuse me, as long as it's
24 government business, it would be relevant to this suit.
25 MS. Di VITTORIO: So is the question has he ever
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 53
1 sent or received racist comments during that time period
2 related to County business?
3 MS. BLOCK: We're going to let the court
4 reporter repeat the question.
5 MS. Di VITTORIO: I heard the question, I'm
6 asking for clarification.
7 MS. BLOCK: I'm asking for the court reporter to
8 repeat the question verbatim. Question.
9 (The record was read by the reporter as follows:
10 "Question: From April 1st, 2009, through
11 June 30th, 2009, did you ever send or receive racist
12 comments regarding President Obama?")
13 THE WITNESS: No, nothing I recall, nothing at
14 all. But I receive lots of e-mail, lots of spam. I
15 send and receive e-mails all the time. I do not recall
16 anything like that.
17 BY MS. BLOCK:
18 Q. Do you have any knowledge why Joseph Beavers
19 would have placed the e-mail between you and Crystal
20 Hill during this time period, that's relevant to the
21 time period between April 1st, 2009, to June 1st, 2010,
22 into what he called exempt log?
23 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Calls for
24 speculation.
25 Go ahead and answer.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 54
1 THE WITNESS: I have no idea.
2 BY MS. BLOCK:
3 Q. So you testified earlier that you have never met
4 with Joe Beavers regarding the public records that are
5 relevant to this suit. What I'm trying to find out is
6 why Joseph Beavers has County records that don't seem to
7 show up from the County. So would there be any type of
8 verbal agreement between you and the City of Gold Bar or
9 the County which in any way relates to the public
10 records that are subject to this suit?
11 A. I have no agreements with anyone on public
12 records. And my job is to send, receive the e-mails,
13 put them in the P drive, archive them as much as humanly
14 possible. They are out of my domain once that happens.
15 I have no agreements with Gold Bar, I have no agreements
16 with the County, I have no agreements with anyone on
17 this lawsuit or any public records issue.
18 Q. Now, you mentioned quite a few e-mail addresses
19 you were using that were private. I believe one was
20 Verizon, the other one was Yahoo. Has anybody from the
21 County actually searched those e-mail addresses, the
22 e-mail boxes for responsive records?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Do you actually archive the e-mails that are
25 coming from the County back to your home as you
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 55
1 described you shuffle them back and forth, maybe when
2 you're out of town? How do you actually retrieve those?
3 A. If I forward a document from the Federal
4 Emergency Management Agency on training to the County
5 that I believe is beneficial to the County, something
6 that we might find useful, I will delete e-mails like
7 that, because they're in the public system, out of my
8 domain at that point.
9 If something comes from the County to my Yahoo
10 account, such as a -- our backup operations plans in
11 case a server malfunctions, and worst case scenarios, I
12 generally keep those in an in-box. There are no
13 folders, nothing that says County business. There are
14 no folders, it's all captured within the in-box.
15 Q. So this would be on which of the e-mail
16 addresses? Would it be Yahoo, Verizon, all of them?
17 A. I believe that within the responsive time frame
18 for this lawsuit they would be in Yahoo, because it's an
19 account that I recently started utilizing for personal
20 business.
21 Q. So you nobody from the County has actually
22 searched those boxes on any of the private e-mail
23 addresses? I just want to make sure I have this clear.
24 A. You are very clear.
25 Q. From August 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010,
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 56
1 that is the area that's relevant to this lawsuit, did
2 you ever communicate with Aaron Reardon during this time
3 period via e-mail?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know how often something like that might
6 have happened?
7 A. Very rarely, but generally during disaster
8 events or preparing for a disaster event or in the
9 recovery phase of a disaster event. Sometimes it would
10 have been over scheduling or maybe an appearance, but
11 very rarely would Aaron and I ever communicate through
12 e-mail.
13 Q. So if you did, as you say, communicate via
14 e-mail during this time period on the probability, would
15 there be any reason why the County would not have turned
16 over those records?
17 A. If I send an e-mail and receive an e-mail, it is
18 out of my hands whether or not -- this is what the
19 process is at that point. I've reiterated it now a
20 dozen times, that I'm not involved in that process.
21 Q. Do you know how many copies of the e-mails there
22 are?
23 A. I have not idea what you're asking.
24 Q. We have e-mails that are responsive to this
25 suit, 2009, through November 6, 2010. Okay. Where are
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 57
1 those e-mails being maintained for the County as we
2 speak?
3 A. I'm going to reiterate for the 13th time, I send
4 and receive e-mails, I have a DEM internal organization
5 public records specialist, who is Diana Rose. Beyond
6 that, I do not know what the process is, and remove
7 myself from that process.
8 Q. From April 1st, 2009, through June 1st, 2010,
9 while you were not married to Ms. Hill, do you have any
10 information as to whether or not she possesses
11 responsive records that are subject to this suit?
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'm going to renew the
13 standing objection.
14 Go ahead and answer.
15 THE WITNESS: Repeat the question, please.
16 (Question was read back.)
17 THE WITNESS: I do not know.
18 (Exhibit 6 was marked.)
19 BY MS. BLOCK:
20 Q. In your own words, could you tell me,
21 Mr. Pennington, what this is?
22 A. This appears to be an e-mail originating from
23 May 25, 2009, from raycoleman@aol.com to himself,
24 raycoleman@aol.com, and then May 26, at 8:26 a.m. it was
25 forwarded from hillcrystald@aol.com to
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 58
1 jepennington@verizon.net, with the subject line "fwd:
2 Steve Higgins."
3 Q. Who is Steve Higgins?
4 A. I have no idea.
5 Q. Now, the content of this e-mail, we have a date,
6 and would you say that that was correct, from Crystal
7 Hill to you, on May 26, 2009?
8 A. It appears to be Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
9 Q. Okay. And so if the County did not turn over
10 this record, would you -- first of all, would you say
11 that this is a public record?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Why not?
14 A. Well, it was forwarded to Verizon.net, it has
15 nothing to do with my work, and I'm not responding to it
16 in any way. I don't know the individual.
17 Q. Okay. So you say I'm not responding to it in
18 any way. What do you mean by "responding to it" as far
19 as how that's relevant to whether or not it's a public
20 record?
21 A. I show no response. You're not submitting a
22 document to me that shows me responding to this, only
23 receiving this document. I don't know who this
24 individual is, I have never met Steve Higgins, I've
25 never met anyone from the Monroe Monitor, and this does
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 59
1 not relate to emergency management or my function within
2 the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of
3 Emergency Management.
4 Q. Mr. Pennington, you testified earlier that
5 you're a public official. We understand that the Public
6 Records Act does apply to you. And your testimony here
7 today, it tries to appear that because you didn't send
8 it it doesn't -- it's not a public record. Now, other
9 than that, is there any reason, other than what you've
10 already stated on the record, is there any reason why
11 you believe that this is not a public record?
12 A. I'm not sure what your question really is at
13 this point.
14 Q. Well, I'm asking you whether or not you believe
15 this to be a public record. I believe that you stated
16 that you did not believe it to be a public record, and
17 you pretty much inferred that because you didn't send
18 it, and because it doesn't have to do with FEMA or
19 Homeland Security or Department of Emergency Management
20 that it's not a public record. But you testified that
21 you are a public official. Is there any other reason
22 why you would view this as not a public record, other
23 than the statements that you've already made?
24 A. This is, in my opinion, an e-mail that is not a
25 public record.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 60
1 (Exhibit 7 was marked.)
2 BY MS. BLOCK:
3 Q. I'll give you time to review this,
4 Mr. Pennington.
5 In your own words, would you tell me what that
6 Exhibit 7 represents?
7 A. It appears to be an e-mail that originated with
8 me July the 22nd, 2009, at 11 o'clock in the morning,
9 between myself and Kevin Prentiss, P-R-E-N-T-I-S-S, and
10 a response from him dated July 22nd, 2009, at 1:53 p.m.,
11 from Kevin Prentiss to me.
12 Q. And the contents of that e-mail?
13 A. The contents of this e-mail are my conveying to
14 Kevin Prentiss my concern for my personal safety, the
15 safety of Crystal Hill, the safety of both of our
16 children, and examples of what I would characterize as
17 harassment, intimidation, overarching concern for our
18 physical safety, regarding you, Ms. Block.
19 Q. Okay. That's pretty much what I got from that.
20 Mr. Pennington, would you tell me the advice
21 that Mr. Prentiss gave to you?
22 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. The document
23 speaks for itself.
24 Go ahead and answer.
25 THE WITNESS: Mr. Prentiss suggests a
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 61
1 recommendation would be a restraining order.
2 BY MS. BLOCK:
3 Q. Could you tell me if you've ever sought a
4 restraining order from Snohomish County?
5 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew the standing objection.
6 Going ahead.
7 THE WITNESS: I have not.
8 (Exhibit 8 was marked.)
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. I'll give you chance to review that. Tell me in
11 your own words what that document means.
12 A. That document appears to be an e-mail from me to
13 Diana Rose on June 8th, 2009, at 3:14 p.m., with a --
14 dated unknown at the top -- that says thank you -- I'm
15 sorry, that says, "That you forward that e-mail chain to
16 Reardon's office for their documentation."
17 Q. What is it that you're trying to document with
18 this e-mail here on June 8th, 2009?
19 A. I don't recall.
20 Q. On this e-mail, would there be any reason why
21 the County failed to provide this particular e-mail with
22 metadata?
23 A. I forward and send e-mails and beyond that
24 process, it's out of my hands.
25 Q. Did you remove the metadata from this particular
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 62
1 e-mail, Mr. Pennington?
2 A. Ms. Block, I do not even know what metadata is.
3 Q. Do you know who Rick Kammerer is? And I could
4 be pronouncing that wrong. It is spelled
5 K-A-M-M-E-R-E-R.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Tell me how you know Mr. Kammerer.
8 A. His name is Kammerer.
9 He was the logistics section chief for the
10 Department of Emergency Management for a period of time
11 that I believe predates this lawsuit.
12 Q. I believe that you're incorrect about the
13 predating of the lawsuit, so I'm going to explore
14 further.
15 Mr. Kammerer worked at Department of Emergency
16 Management. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At any time during this time period did you send
19 or receive any e-mails from Mr. Kammerer?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I'm sorry?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Could you tell me if you did send and
24 receive from Mr. Kammerer during this time period, why
25 the County wouldn't have turned them over?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 63
1 A. I send and receive e-mails and once it leaves my
2 hands, I do not understand or know that process. Diana
3 Rose is my public records officer.
4 Q. When Diana Rose sends out a public records
5 request, does she notify you whether or not your, let's
6 say records, are being requested?
7 A. Back when you started filing public records
8 requests, in the initial stages, she let me know that
9 you had submitted a request, and it has gotten to the
10 point now where I'm never notified. It's just -- it's
11 overwhelming to her.
12 Q. Do you know when that stopped, when you were --
13 A. No, I don't.
14 (Exhibit 9 was marked.)
15 BY MS. BLOCK:
16 Q. I'll give you a chance to look at the exhibit.
17 A. Okay.
18 Q. Could you tell me who's involved in this e-mail
19 chain?
20 A. This appears to be an e-mail from -- that
21 originated from me on Monday, December the 13th, 2010,
22 at 7:39 a.m., to Larry Calter, with the subject line of
23 "can you come in...," importance high, and a response
24 from Larry Calter to me, Monday, December the 13th,
25 2010, at 8:21 a.m., and a reply to me from -- from me to
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 64
1 Larry Calter Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 8:25 a.m.
2 Q. And so the e-mail is with Larry Calter, and
3 earlier you testified he was with the Department of
4 Information Services. True?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it appears that you're having a meeting with
7 Calter, the assessor's office, PDS -- PDS stands for
8 what, Mr. Pennington?
9 A. Planning and Development Services.
10 Q. Planning and Development Services. Then it also
11 appears that you're going to cabinet. I guess I'm going
12 to assume that cabinet means Reardon's office. Would
13 that be correct?
14 A. The cabinet is the executive cabinet of
15 department directors.
16 Q. Okay. And so who's part of that cabinet?
17 A. All of the County departments that are under the
18 executive control, and usually that is directed by Gary
19 Haakenson, the deputy executive.
20 Q. So would it be safe to say that this e-mail
21 represents a cabinet meeting between Gary Haakenson,
22 Larry Calter, the assessor's office, PDS, and yourself?
23 A. Can you ask that again? One more time?
24 Q. Sure.
25 Would it be safe to say that the e-mail
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 65
1 represents that you're having a cabinet meeting between
2 Gary Haakenson, yourself, Larry Calter, the assessor's
3 office, and PDS?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. That is not what this e-mail is.
7 Q. Okay. You tell me what this e-mail represents.
8 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'm going to note a standing
9 objection to all the questioning regarding Exhibit 9 as
10 it's outside the time period relevant to this lawsuit.
11 Go ahead and answer.
12 THE WITNESS: This is a request to meet,
13 probably in the midst, early stages of recovery after a
14 disaster or within the planning process to develop a
15 damage assessment process between Planning Development
16 Services, the assessor's office and our department,
17 which would require an IT interface, which is --
18 BY MS. BLOCK:
19 Q. Why would it require an IT interface? Why was
20 Mr. Calter there?
21 A. This is going to be a lengthy answer.
22 MS. Di VITTORIO: Go ahead.
23 THE WITNESS: Okay. My job is emergency
24 management, and emergency management is the function of
25 preparing, responding, recovering and mitigating
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 66
1 disasters. Within that domain, when we are followed --
2 when we follow through the response phase of a natural
3 disaster or man-made disaster, we begin to assess
4 damages, whether from an earthquake, flood, fire, fill
5 in the blank.
6 One of the current issues nationally, and not
7 fully addressed by this County, and other counties in
8 the northwest, is a consolidated, technically based
9 damage assessment process. Damage assessments are
10 currently conducted by what's called windshield survey,
11 through a coordination of the Red Cross, fire districts,
12 fire departments, police departments. Those are
13 funneled into the Department of Emergency Management and
14 still captured for the most part through a paper and
15 limited process.
16 This meeting was geared towards a streamline,
17 innovative, out-of-the-box means of coordinating damage
18 assessments.
19 BY MS. BLOCK:
20 Q. And so I really don't believe you answered the
21 question, but why would Mr. Calter be present during
22 this meeting?
23 A. DIS, the Department of Information Services,
24 acts as what is known as emergency support function two.
25 Of fifteen emergency support functions under the
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 67
1 national response framework, they are in our department.
2 Two: Communication, they liaison with us on a
3 routine basis to address response and recovery, and
4 their internet capabilities and their technological
5 capabilities assist us in developing programs, plans,
6 concepts for streamlining and more effectively
7 performing the function of emergency management.
8 Q. Between April 1st, 2009, and June 30th, 2009,
9 did you have any e-mail communication besides the one
10 e-mail that I gave you between you and any Snohomish
11 County Sheriff's officers?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you have any idea where those e-mails are
14 today?
15 A. Once I send or receive an e-mail, I am excluded
16 from that process, purposefully removing myself from
17 that process.
18 I think I need a break.
19 MS. Di VITTORIO: Okay.
20 MS. BLOCK: You want a break?
21 Off the record, please.
22 (A break was taken from 11:53 a.m. to 12:00
23 noon.)
24 (Mr. Lenz left the proceedings.)
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 68
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. Mr. Pennington, do you know who Debra Smith is?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How do you know Debra Smith?
5 A. I believe she is a reporter for the Everett
6 Herald.
7 Q. During the time period that's relevant to this
8 suit, did you ever send or receive e-mail communication
9 from Debra Smith?
10 A. I believe that I likely did.
11 Q. Do you know where those e-mails are today?
12 A. No. Once I send and receive them, I don't
13 know -- I've answered this a lot.
14 Q. Well, I'm asking the same question based upon a
15 different person. So you can continue to repeat the
16 question for me, because we probably will have a few
17 more people to go through.
18 You said that you had sent or received e-mail
19 communication. What was that communication about?
20 A. Can you refer to something or someone?
21 Q. Debra Smith. We're still on the topic of Debra
22 Smith.
23 A. I don't recall specifically. We've dealt with
24 articles before on emergency management. I've had
25 several conversations with Debra Smith.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 69
1 Q. Okay. During the time period that's relevant to
2 this suit, did you ever send or receive e-mail
3 communication from Debra Smith which in any way relates
4 to Anne Block?
5 A. I don't recall.
6 Q. Do you know who Kate Reardon is?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would you tell me if you've ever sent or
9 received e-mail communication during the relevant time
10 periods, April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2009, from
11 Kate Reardon during this time period?
12 A. I don't recall, but I could have.
13 Q. Do you know where those e-mails between you and
14 Kate may be today?
15 A. I have no idea.
16 Q. Do you know if you used a County e-mail address
17 or it was Verizon or Yahoo, one of your other e-mail
18 addresses?
19 A. I don't recall.
20 Q. Do you know in 2009 who Kate Reardon worked for?
21 A. My understanding is today she is the public
22 information officer for the City of Everett, and at that
23 point, back then, I don't recall if she was with them or
24 not. I don't know.
25 Q. Do you know who Christopher Michael Wright is?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 70
1 A. Only through your website.
2 Q. And so tell me how you know who Mr. Wright is.
3 Is that through my website? What do you mean?
4 A. I have read what you have written about
5 Mr. Wright, and that's pretty much the extent of it.
6 Q. So during the time period that's relevant to
7 this suit, April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010,
8 did you ever have e-mail communication with Mr. Wright?
9 A. I believe I did, actually, when he was appointed
10 to the council or was elected to the council, I believe
11 that there was a brief interchange between us.
12 Q. Do you know where those e-mails are today?
13 A. No, I do not.
14 Q. Do you have any knowledge of whether or not the
15 County or its employees, besides yourself, have any
16 agreement with the City of Gold Bar or its attorneys
17 which in any way relates to the public records which are
18 responsive to this suit?
19 MS. Di VITTORIO: Standing objection renewed,
20 and object as calling for speculation.
21 Go ahead and answer.
22 THE WITNESS: I believe I've answered that
23 already. I have no agreements or know of no agreements.
24 BY MS. BLOCK:
25 Q. Do you know who Dorothy Croshaw is?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 71
1 A. I know that Dorothy Croshaw is, or was, a City
2 Council member in Gold Bar.
3 Q. So you mention that you know that she was a
4 former City Council member. During the time period
5 that's relevant to this suit, April 1st, 2009, through
6 November 6, 2010, did you exchange any e-mails with her
7 in any way?
8 A. None that I recall directly, though she could
9 have been included in correspondence regarding a host of
10 issues.
11 Q. And you say she could have, a host of issues.
12 What kind of issues?
13 A. I don't recall. I don't recall ever directly
14 e-mailing her.
15 Q. And you said "could have." Is there something
16 that would maybe refresh your memory as far as why you
17 thought she could have been?
18 A. If she were a City Council member, there's a
19 chance that an e-mail could have been sent to, through
20 me, I could have been cc'd on something, I could have
21 seen her name, but her name does ring a bell, I know
22 that she was a City Council member in Gold Bar.
23 Q. And so during the time period that's relevant to
24 the suit, if the County did not turn over e-mail
25 communication between you and Dorothy Croshaw, in your
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 72
1 opinion, would that be a violation of the Public Records
2 Act?
3 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. His opinion is not
4 relevant.
5 Go ahead and answer.
6 THE WITNESS: My process is very simple. I
7 conduct my business through e-mail and through phones
8 and traditional emergency management means, and that's
9 my job. Once that's done, the public records officer,
10 Diana Rose, and those that she deals with on this, are
11 responsible for retention and any other things that you
12 deal with.
13 BY MS. BLOCK:
14 Q. Between April 1st, 2009, through June 1st, 2010,
15 while you were not married to Crystal Hill, would you
16 tell me if you know if she had any responsive records in
17 her possession which are responsive to this suit?
18 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew the standing objection,
19 and object as calling for speculation.
20 Go ahead and answer.
21 THE WITNESS: I do not know.
22 BY MS. BLOCK:
23 Q. So you communicated earlier that the last time
24 you spoke to Joe Beavers was over breakfast. Would that
25 be an accurate statement?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 73
1 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Standing
2 objection.
3 Go ahead and answer.
4 THE WITNESS: No. I've talked to Joe Beavers a
5 lot, but in the time frame that you asked, we had what I
6 believe is a breakfast on a Saturday morning with
7 Crystal present.
8 BY MS. BLOCK:
9 Q. And so that was prior to him being appointed as
10 the mayor. Is that correct?
11 A. I believe --
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
13 objection for this line of questioning.
14 Go ahead and answer.
15 MS. BLOCK: It is during the relevant time
16 period, so it is relevant.
17 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
18 objection for this line of questioning.
19 Go ahead and answer.
20 THE WITNESS: I believe that that is correct.
21 BY MS. BLOCK:
22 Q. You mentioned John Light. Tell me a little bit
23 about how you know John Light.
24 A. John Light is the Public Works director for the
25 City of Gold Bar and we work with him on emergency
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 74
1 management-related issues that have a primary nexus to
2 Public Works.
3 Q. During the relevant time period, April 1st,
4 2009, until November 6, 2009, would you tell me if you
5 had any e-mail communication with Mr. Light?
6 A. I do not recall, but it is likely that I had
7 communication, if nothing else, being copied on e-mails
8 from John Light.
9 Q. Do you have any idea where these e-mails are
10 today between you and John Light?
11 A. I think we've gone over this a lot. Once I send
12 or receive an e-mail, I am not responsible for what then
13 happens to those e-mails. There's a public records
14 officer in my department.
15 Q. Okay. Do you know who Deputy Ross is?
16 A. I believe Deputy Ross is -- was the Gold Bar
17 Sheriff's Office liaison.
18 Q. During the time period relevant to this public
19 records suit, April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010,
20 did you have any e-mail communication with Deputy Ross?
21 A. I believe I did, yes.
22 Q. Could you tell me what that e-mail communication
23 was about?
24 A. I believe my communication with Deputy Ross was
25 around seeking, filling out a police report submitting
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 75
1 evidence, documentation, to seek criminal investigation
2 of you.
3 Q. Are you aware that there's an RCW that says a
4 sitting City official cannot investigate somebody from
5 the same city for which the person resides in?
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Outside the scope
7 of this witness' knowledge, and the standing objection.
8 Go ahead and answer.
9 THE WITNESS: I don't know that.
10 BY MS. BLOCK:
11 Q. So you mentioned that you probably had e-mail
12 communication between April 1st, 2009, and November 6,
13 2009, between you and Deputy Ross. Do you have any
14 knowledge of where those e-mails are today?
15 A. No. I believe one is submitted in my
16 declaration, though.
17 Q. Could you tell me who Deputy Martin is?
18 A. I believe Deputy Martin is also or was also the
19 Sheriff's Office liaison, often referred to as the chief
20 of police for Gold Bar, through a contracting agreement
21 with the City of Gold Bar.
22 Q. And during the relevant time period, April 1st,
23 2009, through November 6, 2010, would you tell me if you
24 had any e-mail communication with Deputy Martin?
25 A. I did have e-mail communication with Ron Martin,
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 76
1 yes.
2 Q. During the relevant time period?
3 A. I don't recall within those timeframes.
4 Q. Do you have any idea where the e-mails are
5 between you and Deputy Martin?
6 A. I don't recall e-mails within that time period.
7 The e-mails that I recall sending to Deputy Martin were
8 once again e-mails referencing you, physical security,
9 and pursuing criminal investigation of you.
10 Q. And besides Deputy Martin, Deputy Ross, and
11 Kevin Prentiss, who else at the Snohomish County
12 Sheriff's Office have you had e-mail communication with
13 during the relevant time period to this lawsuit?
14 A. I believe I've had e-mail communication with
15 several members of the Sheriff's Office, not in regards
16 to this lawsuit, but I've had communications over a
17 myriad of emergency management-related issues, I
18 believe, over time, invitations, again being copied on
19 e-mails for invitations or dedications of helicopters or
20 search and rescue operations, so a host of Sheriff's
21 Office e-mails, I believe.
22 Q. And besides Deputy Martin, Deputy Ross, and
23 Kevin Prentiss, during the relevant time period,
24 April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010, did you have
25 any communication, via e-mail, with anybody inside the
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 77
1 Snohomish County Sheriff's Office which in any way
2 relates to Anne Block?
3 A. I believe I've answered that question. At some
4 point I think within that time frame, and it might be
5 just outside of that, I submitted my first request for
6 an investigation of you for cyber stalking, harassment
7 and intimidation.
8 Q. Do you know where that e-mail communication is
9 today?
10 A. I do not. I send the e-mail, receive e-mails,
11 talk to them, and that's it.
12 (Exhibit 10 was marked.)
13 BY MS. BLOCK:
14 Q. Let me give you a chance to look over the next
15 exhibit, Mr. Pennington. I'm going to ask you a series
16 of questions based on the responses.
17 MS. BLOCK: You need a break?
18 MS. Di VITTORIO: If your line of questioning on
19 this is relatively short we can go ahead and complete
20 that.
21 MS. BLOCK: It's going to take a little while,
22 Sara, go ahead.
23 Off the record, please.
24 (A break was taken from 12:16 p.m. to 12:22 p.m.)
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 78
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. Mr. Pennington, before we left for break we were
3 looking at the plaintiff's second set of interrogatories
4 that is by myself, Anne Block, to Snohomish County
5 Department of Emergency Management. I'd like to ask you
6 about some of the questions that Mr. Reay answered for
7 you.
8 The first one is I'd like for you to detail what
9 steps you personally took to retrieve e-mails off of
10 personal computer systems that might be responsive to
11 this lawsuit, April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010.
12 A. Is the question about my personal computer?
13 Q. Yes, it is.
14 A. And my personal devices?
15 Q. Yes, it is.
16 A. I've taken no actions regarding my personal
17 computers or devices.
18 Q. So if one of the public records that are
19 responsive to this suit were on your personal computer
20 system, would you have notified the County?
21 A. If I had been requested -- if it had been
22 requested of me to examine my personal e-mail accounts
23 for anything that was related to this lawsuit, I would
24 have done that.
25 Q. So you're basically stating, and correct me if
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 79
1 I'm wrong, that nobody from the County ever asked you to
2 search your personal computer systems for responsive
3 records to this suit?
4 A. I don't recall directly. They may have, but I
5 don't recall it directly.
6 Q. So you say they may have. Do you recall whether
7 or not you turned over any responsive records that
8 relate to your personal computer system?
9 A. Within the time frame of this?
10 Q. Yes. The lawsuit.
11 A. No, no, I don't recall that.
12 Q. If you had turned over responsive records, who
13 would those responsive records have been turned over to?
14 A. If I had turned them over, they would have been
15 turned over in the confines of this lawsuit to either
16 Sean Reay or Sara Di Vittorio if they had requested
17 them, or to Diana Rose, my public records officer.
18 Q. And Sara Di Vittorio has only been with the
19 County for how long? When do you have knowledge of
20 Sara's involvement in this suit?
21 A. I don't recall the exact date.
22 Q. Would you say it's been a year?
23 A. I would say less than a year.
24 Q. Would you say less than six months?
25 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'm going to object as to
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 80
1 relevance, but go ahead and answer.
2 THE WITNESS: I don't recall.
3 BY MS. BLOCK:
4 Q. We're going to turn to page 7 of the County's
5 response to my second set of interrogatories in this
6 case. We're going to go to paragraph ten on page 7,
7 where it says, "Mr. Pennington's personal computer
8 systems were not searched in connection with the records
9 referenced in plaintiff's complaint. County business
10 conducted by Mr. Pennington is conducted using a
11 Blackberry device to link to the County's network,
12 whereby Mr. Pennington's e-mails are preserved on the
13 County servers."
14 (Mr. Reay left the proceedings.)
15 BY MS. BLOCK:
16 Q. Would you tell me whether or not that is a true
17 statement?
18 A. I don't -- I assume that is a true statement
19 because it was -- there was a search conducted of my
20 public devices.
21 Q. Do you recall when that search was done?
22 A. No, I do not.
23 Q. Do you recall who did the search?
24 A. No. I purposefully removed myself from that
25 process.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 81
1 Q. So at the time of the request, April 1st, 2009,
2 through November 6, 2010, who was in charge of
3 Department of Information Services?
4 A. I believe that that was Larry Calter.
5 Q. To the best of your recollection, was that Larry
6 Calter that searched your electronic devices?
7 A. I have really recused myself from the process of
8 retracting information from any of my devices, and
9 outside of reading the documents contained in the
10 lawsuit, I'm not familiar with who's doing what to
11 retrieve those documents.
12 Q. Do you recall Mr. Hartley ever participating in
13 this process?
14 A. I know that Tom Hartley is involved in this
15 process, but I do not know to what extent.
16 Q. Do you know if Tom Hartley is under any order to
17 deliver the records to the executive's office that are
18 responsive to the suit before they were actually turned
19 over to the plaintiff?
20 A. I have no knowledge of that.
21 Q. In the County's answer, on page 7, paragraph 21,
22 it says, "All County e-mail is stored on a Microsoft
23 Exchange e-mail server and is accessed through the
24 Microsoft Outlook e-mail client." Could you tell me in
25 your own words what that means?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 82
1 A. I have no idea what that means. We use
2 Microsoft Outlook, and that's the extent of my IT
3 knowledge.
4 Q. Underneath it, on the last paragraph, 24 through
5 25, it says, "Mr. Tom Hartley, Information Security
6 Engineer the Snohomish County Department of Information
7 Services (DIS) conducted the search for and extraction
8 of records responsive to plaintiff's public records
9 request."
10 To the best of your knowledge, do you know if
11 Larry Calter ever participated in the search with
12 Mr. Hartley?
13 (Mr. Reay joined the proceedings.)
14 A. I have no knowledge of that.
15 Q. During the relevant time period to this lawsuit,
16 do you have any knowledge on why an exemption log was
17 not created for any of the e-mails that you've seen here
18 today as exhibits?
19 A. I have no knowledge of that or of that process.
20 Q. Did you participate in any way with the
21 exemption log?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you know if the plaintiff received an
24 exemption log?
25 A. If the plaintiff received an exemption log? I
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 83
1 have no knowledge of that.
2 Q. Based upon the responses to plaintiff's second
3 set of interrogatories, would it be safe to say that you
4 did not certify any of these responses?
5 A. I just want to clarify what that means.
6 Q. Okay. Did you review these prior to being here
7 today?
8 A. They were e-mailed to me, yes.
9 Q. Did you participate at all in answering these?
10 A. Not extensively. Just a very brief review to
11 see if anything was inaccurate or just not correct, and
12 there were a lot of things in here that I did not have
13 knowledge of.
14 Q. And so on the plaintiff's second set of
15 interrogatories, is there anywhere on the face of this
16 document that shows that you certified your
17 participation in answering these requests?
18 A. Can someone clarify the legalese that you're
19 using here so I have a better understanding of what the
20 question is?
21 MS. Di VITTORIO: Are you asking if he signed
22 the document, certifying that he had participated in it?
23 MS. BLOCK: Yes.
24 MS. Di VITTORIO: Is your signature anywhere on
25 that document certifying your participation in answering
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 84
1 them?
2 THE WITNESS: No.
3 BY MS. BLOCK:
4 Q. Could you tell me whose signature does appear?
5 A. Sean Reay.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. BLOCK: We're going to go to lunch now. I
8 am hypoglycemic, so I will be going to lunch for about
9 45 minutes, then we will return, court reporter.
10 (A luncheon recess was taken from 12:31 p.m. to
11 1:16 p.m.)
12 BY MS. BLOCK:
13 Q. We're going to go back on the record,
14 Mr. Pennington. Before we left, we were talking about
15 who else you actually e-mailed during the responsive
16 time period, April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010,
17 and we didn't get a clear answer on Tamara Doherty. Did
18 you send or receive any e-mails to Tamara during the
19 time period in question?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you have any idea where these e-mails are
22 between Tamara Doherty and yourself?
23 A. I e-mail Tamara Doherty, Tami Doherty, on a
24 regular basis, and vice versa. Once those are done,
25 they're out of my control.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 85
1 Q. So again, the question was whether or not you
2 have any knowledge about where these e-mails are that
3 are responsive to Tamara Doherty, between yourself and
4 Tamara?
5 A. E-mails between myself and Tami would be on
6 my -- in my in-box, archive material, P drive, or
7 whatever the County does with them.
8 Q. The next one was Gary Haakenson. I may not
9 pronounce that name right. Did you ever send or receive
10 e-mails between Gary and yourself between April 1st,
11 2009, to November 6, 2010?
12 A. Yes, I'm sure I did.
13 Q. Do you know how often you might have contacted
14 Mr. Haakenson via e-mail?
15 A. I didn't understand your question.
16 Q. How often would you e-mail Mr. Haakenson?
17 A. I would e-mail Mr. Haakenson on a regular basis
18 if there were emergency management-related issues, but
19 not a lot.
20 Q. Okay. Do you have any knowledge about where the
21 records would be between you and Gary Haakenson during
22 this time period that's subject to this suit?
23 A. My answer is, as it has been up to this point,
24 which is send an e-mail, receive an e-mail, and beyond
25 that, it's in the regular process that I don't have
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 86
1 control over or knowledge of.
2 Q. The next person that we really didn't get a
3 clear answer on was Bill Ekse. That's E-S-K-E. During
4 April 1st, 2009, to November 6, 2011, excuse me, 2010,
5 did you ever send or receive an e-mail to Mr. Ekse or
6 receive one from him?
7 A. It's William Ekse, E-K-S-E, and he goes by Bill
8 Ekse, and, yes, I've e-mailed Bill Ekse within that time
9 frame.
10 Q. Okay. Do you have any knowledge where the
11 records are that are responsive to this suit between you
12 and Mr. --
13 A. The same answer as the previous question.
14 Q. For the record, please repeat the answer for
15 Mr. Ekse.
16 A. I send and receive e-mails, they're placed in
17 the inbox, archived, P drive. I have a public records
18 officer, any requests beyond that are out my control,
19 management, et cetera.
20 Q. Okay. Lisa Hall, during the time period that's
21 relevant to this suit, did you ever send or receive
22 e-mails April 1st, 2009, through November 6, 2010, from
23 Lisa Hall?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. And how frequently would you either send
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 87
1 or receive e-mails to Lisa Hall during this time period?
2 A. The e-mails that were between myself and Lisa
3 Hall were specifically limited to your requests.
4 Q. Just limited to my requests. Was there not
5 other requesters in that e-mail group?
6 A. I don't recall.
7 Q. Do you have any knowledge where these e-mails
8 are that are responsive to this public records suit that
9 involves Lisa Hall and yourself communicating?
10 A. Same answer as the previous answers. I send, I
11 receive, they're archived, and I don't know why we keep
12 going over this, but it is the exact same answer.
13 Q. Okay. Because the answer could be different,
14 Mr. Pennington, if we're talking about a different
15 person.
16 As far as the records that are responsive to
17 this suit, during this time period, April 1st, 2009,
18 November 6, 2010, did you ever delete an e-mail during
19 that time period?
20 A. Yes, I'm sure I did.
21 Q. So how frequently would you delete an e-mail?
22 A. I can't recall a percentage or a specific number
23 of deletion of e-mails.
24 Q. So if you're deleting e-mails, how would the
25 County actually retrieve those e-mails if somebody were
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 88
1 to ask for a public records request?
2 A. That's beyond my knowledge, but it's been
3 conveyed to me by several individuals that they are
4 retained and that they are available.
5 Q. Earlier you mentioned that Crystal Hill was I
6 guess writing and editing your divorce motions of some
7 nature, and you were sending them back and forth via
8 e-mail to each other. Do you have any idea where those
9 records are that are responsive to that question?
10 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew the standing objection
11 and object to misstating the witness' prior testimony.
12 Go ahead and answer.
13 THE WITNESS: Repeat the question, please.
14 BY MS. BLOCK:
15 Q. Okay. Do you have any information as to where
16 the records are that are responsive to e-mails between
17 you and Crystal Hill between April 1st, 2009, and
18 June 1st, 2010?
19 A. I have no knowledge of that.
20 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether or not anybody
21 else might have possession of records between you and
22 Crystal Hill?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So would it be true to say that you don't have
25 any inside information that the City of Gold Bar
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 89
1 possesses e-mails that are responsive to this particular
2 public records suit?
3 A. My knowledge regarding this lawsuit is confined
4 to the documents that I have been receiving here that --
5 and documents that were mailed to my house.
6 Q. First of all, I'd like to say that if you
7 received records at your house, they're not responsive
8 to this particular public record suit because your
9 testimony was you received something three weeks ago,
10 and I do not believe that I've requested them three
11 weeks ago.
12 In your own words, Mr. Pennington, would you
13 tell me what my public records suit is about?
14 A. I believe that your lawsuit regarding public
15 records with my department is unfortunately a thinly
16 veiled mechanism by which you can intimidate and harass
17 and cyber stock me and my family.
18 Q. So you testified earlier that you're a public
19 official. You testified that, correct me if I'm wrong,
20 that you're subject to the Public Records Act. Would
21 that be two true statements?
22 A. I believe that is a true statement, yes.
23 Q. So would it not be true that a citizen of this
24 great state of Washington could request e-mail
25 communication, sent or received by yourself, and that it
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 90
1 could potentially be a public record?
2 A. Yes.
3 (Exhibit 11 was marked.)
4 BY MS. BLOCK:
5 Q. I'm going to give you a chance to look this
6 over.
7 Did you have a chance to look that over,
8 Mr. Pennington?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What I'd like to do is have you turn to page 2
11 of 9, 2.1, and it starts on paragraph five, and it goes
12 to paragraph nine. It basically it says, "Pursuant to
13 RCW 42.56 please provide me with a copy of the following
14 public records: All e-mail communication sent from or
15 received by John Pennington from April 1st, 2009 to
16 present (date of this e-mail). This is a purposefully
17 broad public records request intended to gather all
18 documents and e-mail communication sent or received by
19 Pennington."
20 So based upon that particular public records
21 request, would it be fair to say or true to say that the
22 requester here is requesting for all e-mail
23 communication?
24 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. The documents
25 speaks for itself.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 91
1 Go ahead and answer.
2 THE WITNESS: I don't know what it is that you
3 seek.
4 BY MS. BLOCK:
5 Q. Let's go over it one more time. We have page 2,
6 paragraphs five through nine. It says, "All e-mail
7 communication sent from or received by John Pennington
8 April 1, 2009, to present." Would it be fair to say
9 that all e-mail communication means all e-mail
10 communication?
11 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. The document
12 speaks for itself.
13 Go ahead and answer.
14 THE WITNESS: I don't know what it is that you
15 seek.
16 BY MS. BLOCK:
17 Q. Well, why don't I ask you this question,
18 Mr. Pennington. You tell me what "all e-mail
19 communication" means.
20 A. In the confines of?
21 Q. Public records suit.
22 A. E-mails that are of public interest with respect
23 to the operation of or management of my department, what
24 is in the public's interest as far as an e-mail.
25 Q. Do you have any idea whether or not RCW says
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 92
1 anything about the public interest?
2 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Outside the scope
3 of this witness' knowledge.
4 Go ahead.
5 THE WITNESS: It's outside the scope of my
6 knowledge.
7 BY MS. BLOCK:
8 Q. So basically that's pretty much your
9 understanding, that it has to be within the public
10 interest to be a public record?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you have no idea where this public interest
13 is actually defined.
14 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Misstates the
15 witness' testimony.
16 Go ahead and answer.
17 BY MS. BLOCK:
18 Q. I'm going to go ahead and restate this. You
19 mentioned public interest. You tell me what public
20 interest means.
21 A. Public interest would mean the operating budget
22 or the operating structure or the organizational
23 structure or the ongoings and dealings with my
24 department and others inside and outside the department.
25 Q. Okay.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 93
1 A. That would not -- I'm not finished.
2 That would not mean an e-mail between a best
3 friend who is a librarian who is a huge Portland Trail
4 Blazer fan. That is not in the public's interest.
5 Q. Would it be in the public interest to have
6 e-mail communication between you and a sitting mayor
7 between this time period?
8 A. I believe that that would hinge on the topic.
9 Q. The next section we're going to move to is
10 page 2, it's like line 16.5, it looks like it's a little
11 off there, through line 17, page 2, all the way through
12 line three on the next page, page 3.
13 In my public records request, Mr. Pennington, I
14 asked the County to log, label, each record it was
15 claiming an exemption for, and I specifically stated for
16 each record that you contend is exempt from public
17 disclosure, please specify, specifically identify the
18 record by subject, title, author, custodial and date,
19 specifically state how this specific statutory exemption
20 applies to the record, as required by RCW 4.56.210
21 subsection three.
22 Now, do you have any knowledge on why I was not
23 provided an exemption log in this particular case?
24 A. I have no knowledge of that.
25 Q. Do you have any knowledge why even just a couple
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 94
1 of the e-mails that I've showed you today that I have in
2 my possession were not logged, labeled, and stated as
3 statutory exemption or minimum redacted?
4 A. That is beyond my knowledge.
5 Q. Did you ever order anybody in your staff to
6 withhold public records?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Prior to break, I asked you if you had a
9 Blackberry device, and you answered to that question
10 yes, you did, you probably had a couple. To the best of
11 your recollection, do you have a precise number of how
12 many Blackberry devices you had between April 1st, 2009,
13 and November 6, 2009?
14 A. I have one County device that is a Blackberry
15 device, and I believe that there may have been a
16 switching out or an upgrading of that particular device,
17 but I cannot verify that.
18 Q. After a person has a switching out, what exactly
19 happens to that device once you switch it out, so to
20 speak?
21 A. I don't have knowledge. All I know is that the
22 device is handed back to me from DIS and I start
23 functioning with it again.
24 Q. Do you recall who at DIS you actually handed the
25 Blackberry device off to?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 95
1 A. I'm sorry?
2 Q. Who at DIS did you hand the Blackberry device
3 to?
4 A. I don't recall.
5 Q. On your Blackberry devices, during the time
6 period April 1st, 2009, to November 6, 2010, did you
7 ever send or receive a text message?
8 A. I believe I probably did.
9 Q. Do you recall how often you would actually send
10 or receive text messages on your Blackberry device?
11 A. I believe very rarely.
12 Q. I'm sorry?
13 A. Was the question regarding text messages or
14 e-mails?
15 Q. Text messages.
16 A. I believe very rarely.
17 Q. Do you have any idea where these text messages
18 are today that you sent or received from April 1st,
19 2009, through November 6, 2010?
20 A. No knowledge.
21 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether or not the
22 City of Gold Bar possesses any of the e-mails in this
23 particular case?
24 A. I have no knowledge.
25 MS. Di VITTORIO: E-mails or text messages?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 96
1 MS. BLOCK: I'm sorry. Well, the e-mails are
2 part of the complaint. So the text messages and the
3 e-mails are all part of this complaint if you read it.
4 THE WITNESS: So I'd like to have the question
5 reread.
6 BY MS. BLOCK:
7 Q. Text messages. We're going to ask the text
8 messages. Do you have any knowledge on whether or not
9 anybody in the City of Gold Bar has any responsive
10 records for the text messages which in any way relates
11 to text messages that you sent or received on your
12 Blackberry?
13 A. No, I have not knowledge of that.
14 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether or not any of
15 Gold Bar's City attorneys have possession of your text
16 messages sent or received on your Blackberry device
17 during this time period?
18 A. I have no knowledge of that.
19 Q. Is there any reason why the County has not
20 produced these text messages sent or received during the
21 time period in question?
22 A. I have no knowledge of that process outside of
23 sending and receiving e-mails and/or text messages.
24 Q. In the text messages that I'm discussing today,
25 during the time period that's relevant to this suit, did
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 97
1 you ever order anybody to destroy --
2 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew the standing
3 objection. And this lawsuit is about e-mails, not text
4 messages, according to the plain language of the
5 complaint.
6 Go ahead and answer.
7 THE WITNESS: Can you repeat the question,
8 please.
9 (Question was read back.)
10 THE WITNESS: So answering the question, no, no
11 ordering of anyone to destroy text messages.
12 BY MS. BLOCK:
13 Q. Now, prior to your agreed to deposition, my
14 office sent the County a subpoena, and the subpoena
15 asked for any responsive records or other documents that
16 are responsive to this suit in your possession, custody
17 or control or the County's. Do you have anything with
18 you today that answers that subpoena?
19 A. I don't understand the question.
20 Q. Okay. You have a subpoena that was issued for
21 your deposition testimony today. With that I issued a
22 subpoena duces tecum. Do you have any responsive
23 records, in the possession of the County -- I don't care
24 if it was Mr. Reay or if it was Ms. Di Vittorio -- in
25 the custody, possession or control of the County, that
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 98
1 you have with you today, to answer that subpoena?
2 A. No.
3 (Exhibit 12 was marked.)
4 BY MS. BLOCK:
5 Q. I'll give you a minute to review that document,
6 Mr. Pennington.
7 Have you had a chance to review that,
8 Mr. Pennington?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When is the first time you actually saw this
11 document?
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'm going to object to all
13 line of questioning regarding Exhibit 12 as it is not
14 relevant to the lawsuit before the Court.
15 Go ahead and answer, Mr. Pennington.
16 THE WITNESS: I have never seen this document.
17 BY MS. BLOCK:
18 Q. So do you have any knowledge whether or not this
19 record was sent to Diana Rose with a cc to yourself?
20 A. I have never seen this document.
21 Q. Let's turn to the last page of the document.
22 And it's the first paragraph. December 11, 2010, I,
23 Anne Block, filed a criminal complaint against John
24 Pennington after learning that Chuck Lie, from Chuck
25 Lie, that Pennington gained access with intent to extort
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 99
1 my personal and nonconviction criminal history record
2 via his Homeland Security clearance. It is also
3 believed that Pennington used his SNOCO e-mail system to
4 disseminate my nonpublic information via his County
5 computer system.
6 During the time period in question from
7 April 1st, 2009, to November 6, 2010, did you
8 disseminate any private identifying information via your
9 County computer system?
10 MS. Di VITTORIO: About you?
11 MS. BLOCK: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: No. And if I did, it certainly
13 was not knowingly.
14 BY MS. BLOCK:
15 Q. Would there be a difference between knowingly --
16 A. I do not recall ever disseminating any
17 information about you outside of this particular
18 lawsuit, and that would be just correspondence between
19 me and the attorneys for the County.
20 Q. Would there be any reason that you know of why
21 the Gold Bar City Council would be discussing how to
22 cover up your e-mails between you and Crystal Hill
23 during the time period in question in an executive
24 session in the City of Gold Bar?
25 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 100
1 objection.
2 Go ahead and answer.
3 THE WITNESS: That is beyond my scope, my job,
4 and I do not know.
5 BY MS. BLOCK:
6 Q. As far as your communications with the City
7 officials from the City of Gold Bar, when is the last
8 time you actually had any communication with Gold Bar's
9 city clerk, Laura Kelly?
10 MS. Di VITTORIO: During the time period
11 relevant to this lawsuit?
12 MS. BLOCK: I'd like to explore the possibility
13 he had discussions with her outside the scope, but it's
14 relevant to the lawsuit.
15 MS. Di VITTORIO: Then I'll renew my standing
16 objection.
17 Go ahead and answer.
18 THE WITNESS: I don't -- I don't e-mail or talk
19 to Laura Kelly hardly at all.
20 BY MS. BLOCK:
21 Q. So would it be your testimony that you haven't
22 had any communication with her which in any way relates
23 to this suit?
24 A. I don't recall her being included, whether
25 copied or directly, on any e-mail correspondence between
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 101
1 us. I don't recall that.
2 Q. So let's just talk about the public record suit.
3 Let's talk about your communication with Ms. Kelly.
4 It's a very broad request. I'm asking for any
5 communication that you had with her --
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
7 objection.
8 Q. -- in regard to this suit.
9 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
10 objection.
11 Please go ahead and answer.
12 THE WITNESS: I haven't talked with Laura Kelly,
13 outside of visiting Gold Bar one time, and this was
14 outside the scope of this domain -- or outside the scope
15 of this lawsuit.
16 BY MS. BLOCK:
17 Q. And has Laura Kelly been at your house during
18 the time period, April 1st, 2009, through November 6,
19 2010, to talk about this lawsuit?
20 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
21 objection, and also note the question has been asked and
22 answered.
23 Go ahead and answer.
24 THE WITNESS: No.
25 MS. BLOCK: I asked him as far as his
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 102
1 communication, I didn't ask him about her presence.
2 MS. Di VITTORIO: You don't need to correct me.
3 I'm just making a record. Thank you.
4 MS. BLOCK: And I'm noting for the record for
5 myself, being that it's my transcript.
6 BY MS. BLOCK:
7 Q. We're going to go through a few people on the
8 list here, and I'd like to have you tell me how you know
9 them. On the list, it's page 2 of the tort complaint --
10 MS. Di VITTORIO: So Exhibit 12 for the record.
11 MS. BLOCK: Yes, Exhibit 12 for the record.
12 BY MS. BLOCK:
13 Q. It's No. 3, Denise Beaston. How do you know
14 Ms. Beaston?
15 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my objection to the
16 entire line of questioning related to Exhibit 12.
17 Go ahead and answer.
18 THE WITNESS: I believe that she is the
19 emergency management liaison for the City of Gold Bar.
20 BY MS. BLOCK:
21 Q. So between April 1st, 2009, and November 6,
22 2010, do you recall if you had any e-mail communication
23 with Ms. Beaston?
24 A. I would imagine that there are e-mail
25 correspondence between her and my department as she is
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 103
1 the liaison, and that Gold Bar has had multiple
2 disasters.
3 Q. And it has had multiple disasters. As far as
4 Denise Beaston, do you have any knowledge where those
5 e-mails are today?
6 A. Beyond sending, receiving, archiving, keeping
7 them, that's beyond my scope. I could not know.
8 Q. Gold Bar council member Kelly Broyles, do you
9 know who he is?
10 A. I don't believe I know that individual.
11 Q. Have you ever had any e-mail communication
12 that's relevant to this suit with Mr. Broyles?
13 A. I do not recall any with Kelly Broyles, though
14 he may have been cc'd or copied on e-mails that are
15 somehow cc'd to me, but I don't believe I've had direct
16 contact with him.
17 Q. Going down to No. 17, Snohomish County
18 prosecutor Lindsay Downs, do you know if she's entered a
19 notice of appearance on this case?
20 A. I don't have any knowledge of that.
21 Q. Have you had any communications with Ms. Downs
22 which in any way relates to this suit?
23 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection, so far as it calls
24 for information protected by the attorney-client
25 privilege. I will direct you not to reveal any
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 104
1 conversation related to any conversations you had with
2 Ms. Downs related to this lawsuit.
3 THE WITNESS: Sure.
4 MS. Di VITTORIO: You can answer --
5 THE WITNESS: So based on the recommendation of
6 counsel, I'm not going to answer the question.
7 BY MS. BLOCK:
8 Q. You still have to answer the question,
9 Mr. Pennington. You just have to answer whether or not
10 there's any relevant, nonexempt communication that you
11 had with Ms. Downs.
12 MS. Di VITTORIO: Your question was asking him
13 if he had communications related to this lawsuit. He's
14 instructed not to answer with regard to those
15 communications. Can I please finish?
16 MS. BLOCK: Can you let Mr. Pennington please
17 finish his answer? He does have to answer the question.
18 THE WITNESS: I respectfully decline to answer
19 the question.
20 MS. Di VITTORIO: Perhaps if you'd let me finish
21 what I was saying I could help you out a little bit.
22 Mr. Pennington, can you acknowledge whether or
23 not you've had communications with Ms. Downs regarding
24 this lawsuit?
25 THE WITNESS: I don't recall.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 105
1 MS. Di VITTORIO: Thank you.
2 He's answered your question.
3 BY MS. BLOCK:
4 Q. No. 18, attorney Jeffrey Myers, Olympia. Have
5 you had any direct or indirect communication with
6 Mr. Myers from April 1st, 2009, to November 6, 2010?
7 A. I don't know that name.
8 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether or not
9 Mr. Myers' partner in his firm, Mr. Kammerer, is related
10 to Rick Kammerer, a former employee with your --
11 A. I have no knowledge.
12 Q. Between 2009 to 2010, subject to this lawsuit,
13 did you have access to any desktop computer system here
14 at the County?
15 A. I don't understand that question.
16 Q. Did you access any desktop computer system here
17 at the County between the dates that are relevant in
18 this suit?
19 A. Aside from the one that I have in my office?
20 Q. No. Just any desktop, whether it's one in your
21 office, or whether it's one on the --
22 A. I've logged into computers that would be every
23 once in a while with presentations to the executive
24 cabinet, I've logged into that computer with the same
25 user name and password. So all one system.
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 106
1 Q. So would it be correct to say you only had one
2 desktop that you've used from 2009 to 2010, the dates
3 that are relevant to this lawsuit?
4 A. I don't know when they replaced my desktop
5 computer, but it was at some point in the recent past.
6 I don't know if it's within the parameters of this
7 lawsuit, but it has been upgraded.
8 Q. When you say "upgraded," is it like an upgrade
9 like I do, I just shove another card in the slot, or is
10 it they physically took it out of your office?
11 A. Ms. Block, I don't know.
12 Q. So you had it upgraded. Does it look new? Does
13 the desktop look new?
14 A. I don't know. It's just a computer under my
15 desk.
16 Q. So what I'm trying to get at, Mr. Pennington, is
17 whether or not the computer was ever switched. So does
18 it look like the same? Does it have the same
19 identifying features?
20 A. Within the time frame here, I do not know.
21 Q. As far as the desktop that you use, would it be
22 safe to say that you're using Microsoft Outlook as your
23 e-mail?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you have any knowledge why some of the
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 107
1 public records that were received through this public
2 records request, April 1st, 2009, through November 6,
3 2010, were not provided in electronic format, in native
4 searchable format, including metadata? Do you have any
5 knowledge?
6 A. Irrespective of the fact that I'm still not sure
7 what that means, my process is to send, receive e-mails.
8 My public records officer takes care of that. And
9 beyond that it is outside my role and responsibility as
10 director of DEM.
11 Q. Did you ever give Lisa Hall an order to go to
12 the City of Gold Bar and give Laura Kelly and Joe
13 Beavers, the mayor, public records lessons?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you have any knowledge of who inside the
16 County actually did give an order, if they did give one?
17 Do you have any knowledge about --
18 A. I have no knowledge of any of that.
19 Q. Follow-up question on Matt Trafford from the
20 Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. It was your
21 testimony that you did in fact e-mail between yourself
22 and Mr. Trafford regarding myself between April 1st,
23 2009, and June 30th, 2010. Do you have any information
24 about where those e-mails are?
25 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Misstates the
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 108
1 witness' testimony.
2 Go ahead and answer.
3 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure even if did I e-mail
4 Matt Trafford. I believe I recall saying that I don't
5 recall it, it could have happened, I may have met him,
6 but I do recall that he is a former Snohomish County
7 Sheriff's officer.
8 BY MS. BLOCK:
9 Q. Do you recall your last communication with
10 Mr. Trafford?
11 A. No, I do not.
12 Q. Do you remember your first communication with
13 Mr. Trafford?
14 A. No, I do not.
15 Q. Do you recall how you met Mr. Trafford?
16 A. No, I do not.
17 Q. Would you describe to me your relationship with
18 Snohomish County Sheriff's officer Kevin Prentiss.
19 A. During the early stages of the development of
20 our department, from 2006 on, Kevin was the assigned
21 liaison from the Sheriff's Office to the department, and
22 I think he left that in an official capacity, I'm not
23 sure when, sometime probably 2008, when he -- '08 or
24 '09, somewhere in that time frame I think he left as the
25 official liaison, but he is a primary contact between
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 109
1 myself and the sheriff.
2 Q. Do you have any information on why Kevin
3 Prentiss, Peter Camp, and the Snohomish County
4 prosecutor's office would be gathering and meeting about
5 public records that are relevant to this suit?
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: Renew my standing objection.
7 Going ahead and answer.
8 THE WITNESS: No, I have no knowledge of that.
9 BY MS. BLOCK:
10 Q. Were you part of any cabinet meeting which in
11 any way relates to the list?
12 A. No.
13 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Renew my standing
14 objection.
15 Go ahead and answer.
16 THE WITNESS: No, no, and I have no knowledge of
17 that.
18 BY MS. BLOCK:
19 Q. Would you know who Emily Hepner is?
20 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
21 objection.
22 Go ahead and answer.
23 THE WITNESS: I don't know the name Emily
24 Hepner. I know the name Emily Heffter.
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 110
1 BY MS. BLOCK:
2 Q. Would you tell me how you know Emily Heffter?
3 A. I read the article about you.
4 Q. Was that the first time that you met Emily?
5 A. I never met Emily.
6 Q. I'm sorry. Is that the first time that you
7 heard of Emily?
8 A. I'll go ahead and clarify for the record that I
9 have never met Emily Heffter, and the only time I have
10 heard her name or seen her name was in the article that
11 discussed Ms. Block.
12 Q. Have you had any e-mail between you and
13 Ms. Heffter between the time period of April 1st, 2009
14 until November 6, 2009?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you have any e-mail communication which in
17 any way relates to the Snohomish County Herald's article
18 in regards to former Mayor Crystal Hill?
19 MS. Di VITTORIO: Objection. Renew the standing
20 objection.
21 Go ahead.
22 THE WITNESS: I'm going to ask you to narrow
23 down the question.
24 BY MS. BLOCK:
25 Q. Do you have any information about the Snohomish
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 111
1 County Herald article that was published in 2009 that's
2 relevant to this suit, that -- let me back up.
3 Ms. Debra Smith, you mentioned that you
4 mentioned that you knew who Debra Smith was. She was
5 from the Snohomish County Herald. And you mentioned
6 that you probably had e-mail communication with
7 Ms. Smith. In the way that it's related to former Mayor
8 Crystal Hill, did you ever e-mail Debra Smith which in
9 any way relates to Anne Block?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you ever e-mail or be cc'd in on any e-mail
12 between Debra Smith and Crystal Hill during that time
13 period?
14 A. I think that that is a possibility. I don't
15 recall.
16 Q. Do you have any information about where those
17 e-mails are?
18 MS. Di VITTORIO: I'll renew my standing
19 objection.
20 Go ahead and answer.
21 THE WITNESS: I do not know.
22 BY MS. BLOCK:
23 Q. At any time period between April 1st, 2009, and
24 November 6, 2010, did you ever give an order to anybody
25 inside Snohomish County to retain or withhold records
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 112
1 that are relevant to this suit?
2 A. I don't recall that. I believe that that was --
3 I believe that at the point that this lawsuit was filed,
4 and we received initial contact from Sean Reay, I
5 recused myself out of all processes, and that was given
6 to my deputy director, and of course Diana Rose who was
7 the already existing public records officer.
8 MS. BLOCK: We're going to call for a ten-minute
9 break, and then we're almost finished up.
10 MS. Di VITTORIO: Okay.
11 (A break was taken from 2:08 p.m. to 2:16 p.m.)
12 BY MS. BLOCK:
13 Q. Mr. Pennington, the lawsuit for access to your
14 public records here in the County, the relevant time
15 periods for this lawsuit, is April 1st, 2009, to
16 November 6, 2010. Prior to the public records request
17 that's relevant to this suit, did you ever receive a
18 public records request that ordered you to preserve all
19 records which in any way relates to your e-mail
20 communication here at the County?
21 A. I don't recall. I do recall an e-mail after
22 this lawsuit was filed, I believe.
23 Q. Do you ever recall receiving a public records
24 request from anybody prior to -- besides myself, asking
25 you to preserve the records?
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 113
1 A. I don't recall.
2 Q. E-mail communication.
3 A. I don't recall that.
4 MS. BLOCK: All right. We are done with the
5 deposition of John Pennington.
6 MS. Di VITTORIO: We'll reserve signature.
7 (Deposition concluded at 2:18 p.m.)
8 (By agreement between counsel and the witness,
9 signature was not waived.)
10 -o0o-
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Deposition of John Pennington Block v. Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
BUELL REALTIME REPORTING, LLC 206 287 9066 Page: 114
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
2
3
4 I, SHERILYNN V. McKAY, a Certified Shorthand
5 Reporter in and for the State of Washington, do hereby
6 certify that the foregoing transcript of the deposition
7 of JOHN PENNINGTON, having been duly sworn on
8 May 1, 2012, is true and accurate to the best of my
9 knowledge, skill and ability.
10 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand
11 May 7, 2012.
12
13
14
15
16 SHERILYNN V. McKAY, RMR, CRR
17
18
19
20
21
22
23