Witness in Reed case says she was never harassed
Mrs. Reed says "It didn't happen," during deposition
A video deposition taken by an attorney for Riley Baker shows the mother of Scappoose City Councilor Mark Reed negating statements allegedly made by Reed and his wife, Debbie Reed.
Mark and Debbie Reed are being sued by Baker in a defamation lawsuit. Baker cites statements made by Debbie Reed during a public comment portion of a Columbia River Peoples Utility District meeting in February. Debbie Reed accused him of harassing and intimidating her mother-in-law at her Scappoose home over a political sign displayed in her yard, and then said Baker later removed the sign without her mother-in-laws permission. Baker alleges Mark Reed made similar statements to former coworkers and acquaintances in town.
At the time, a recall election was being mounted against Columbia River PUD Director Craig Melton. Baker and his father, Dave Baker, who is also a director on the PUD board, aided in collecting signatures to support the recall. Voters rejected the recall and Melton remains in office.
Baker said he never threatened or harassed the woman, who he knows from being a lifelong Scappoose resident and doing plumbing work in her home previously. He also denied removing the sign.
Baker claims the Reeds statements constitute defamation, which has damaged his reputation and plumbing business.
The lawsuit was filed Aug. 19 and seeks $400,000 in compensation.
Video footage shows Mark Reeds mother, Delores, being sworn in, with Bakers attorney, Mike Sahagian present, along with a court reporter. Sahagian confirmed Mrs. Reeds daughter was also present, as a witness.
When asked about whether Baker came to her home and harassed or intimidated her regarding the signs, Reed replied, It didnt happen.
Mrs. Reed said someone approached her about placing a political sign on her property.
A woman stopped and asked if she could put a political sign on our property, Mrs. Reed said. She said she told the woman the property she was asking about was not hers, but directed her to another area.
Around that timeframe, she confirmed Baker did stop by her house when he was in the area with his daughter.
He asked who put the sign up, Mrs. Reed said. I told him I didnt know.
Sahagian asked Mrs. Reed if Baker made her feel uncomfortable, or intimidated her in any way.
No. Heavens no, she said.
Sahagian said Tuesday that he confirmed that a nearby neighbor of Mrs. Reeds told him he took the anti-recall sign down himself.
The Reeds have yet to file a response to the suit.
Mark Reed, a current Scappoose city councilor, is currently running for mayor of Scappoose. Debbie Reed is running for a position on the PUD board of directors.
The couple declined to comment on the case, citing pending litigation.
A call to the Reeds attorney was not returned.