Clarkston Farmers Market Board Sues Former Manager | North West
The Clarkston Farmers Market is embroiled in a power struggle that ended in Asotin County Superior Court.
The market, a non-profit, has filed a lawsuit against Danielle Evans, who became responsible for the community event in 2018, according to the lawsuit.
A complaint in the lawsuit alleges that Evans continued to be involved in the market even though her board of directors voted unanimously on June 3 to remove her as manager over concerns about her performance.
Evans declined to comment for this story and as of Thursday afternoon had not filed a response to the complaint.
The market was held last Saturday at its usual location at Clarkston’s Beachview Park. Tom Ball, who is identified as the chairman of the board in the lawsuit, was present and declined to comment.
The lawsuit was filed after months of hardship between the board overseeing the market and Evans, who served on the board for some time, according to the complaint, which lists Ball, Shannon Gottschalk and Karen Lehfeldt as members of the advice.
In April, Evans told Ball the board was no longer active, even though the three board members saw it as a functional board, according to the complaint. Then, in June, the day the board let Evans go, she sent a letter to Ball “et al” stating that she had set up a new temporary board and that a permanent board would be chosen in. August.
The attempt to create a new council for the market has caused “uncertainty for sellers, who do not know who is responsible,” according to the lawsuit. “(Evans) does ask the vendors of the farmer’s market to do business with her, even though she is no longer the manager of the market.”
Confusion over who runs the market is one of the many concerns described by Ball, Gottschalk, and Lehfeldt in the lawsuit. Evans failed to return Farmers’ Market goods such as check books, cash on hand and seller information after the board of directors terminated his employment, according to the complaint. And board members have questions about a $ 20,000 grant that Gottschalk was told was given to the market by the Washington State Farmers Association.
“(Evans) did not provide council … with any information on how much she paid herself or what happened to the $ 20,000,” according to the complaint.
In addition to the grant, the board was constantly concerned with how Evans was discharging his responsibilities.
“There was no budget, no clear accounting revenues or expenses,” according to the complaint. “She has continually sabotaged the board’s efforts to implement the bylaws. His relationship with the board was continually hostile, non-transparent and disrespectful.