Teachers Unions Challenge Sizemore in Court

Two Oregon teachers unions have filed a lawsuit against Bill Sizemore, claiming that the initiative activist is hiding assets in his wife's name in order to avoid paying the unions a settlement from a previous lawsuit.

From the Oregonian:

Two Oregon teachers unions have upped the ante in their longstanding legal battle with Bill Sizemore, the prolific initiative circulator whose business lost a $2.5 million court judgment for filing false campaign finance reports and forging signatures.

A lawsuit filed Thursday by the Oregon Education Association and American Federation of Teachers-Oregon accuses Sizemore of illegally hiding his assets in the name of his wife, Cindy, in order to avoid reimbursing the unions for their legal fees.

In essence, the suit says Sizemore is managing signature-gathering for more than half a dozen initiatives aimed at the 2008 ballot. But American Tax Research Foundation, a Nevada company, pays Cindy Sizemore.

"Mr. Sizemore continues to think and act like he is above the law," says OEA President Larry Wolf. "And now he's enlisted the help of his wife and an out-of-state special interest group to assist in his continued unlawful schemes."

The lawsuit is yet another twist in a legal battle stretching back to 2002:

After the unions won the $2.5 million against Sizemore's signature-gathering company, they won another ruling that Sizemore was personally responsible to pay it off.

The Oregon Court of Appeals last year overturned part of the original verdict, leaving some damages in place but also undoing the determination that Sizemore was personally liable.

Earlier this year, a judge ordered Sizemore to pay $125,000 in union attorney fees for violating an injunction restricting the way he runs his initiative petition business.

Thursday's lawsuit is aimed only at the attorney fees.

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • bizteach (unverified)

    Strange court decision. What good is a judgment against Sizemore if he isn't responsible for paying it? What does the court think is going to happen, that someone else is going to come along and pay it for him? The whole purpose of a judgment is to make him responsible for the damage he did to Oregon's teachers.

  • Chris Lowe (unverified)

    Didn't one of Lon Mabon's chief henchmen do something similar to avoid for years paying a judgment in favor of someone from Basic Rights Oregon whom he assaulted?

    Did Lon himself have some sort of asset-hiding thing, or am I confusing it with his self-dealing use of family members as OCA contractors? I.e. corruptly converting a not-for-profit corporation into a family for-profit business. (Even if legal, it was still corrupt).

    Re the appeals court judgment, I think the ruling was that Sizemore wasn't personally liable for the actions of his company's employees. I think the company was liable & bankrupted as a result.

    <h2>Guess personal responsibility is a conservative value some times but not others, hey?</h2>
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