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Complaint Filed Against Former Yamhill County Counsel
He and others used Yamhill County government to circumvent land use law.

On May 24th a complaint was filed with the Oregon State Bar against Yamhill County Chief Counsel Timothy “Todd” Sadlo. The Oregon State Bar Association is the disciplinary agency for lawyers in Oregon.

Yamhill County began to acquire property and started construction on a recreational trail in rural Yamhill County. Several residents objected and the Land Use Board of Appeals denied the County's request for variances.

The complaint was filed on behalf of farmers who have been plaintiffs in five actions against the County before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals over a three year period. The County, with Sadlo as counsel, has lost those actions every time. The complaint alleges illegal activity that stemmed from County Counsel ignoring Land Use Board of Appeals directives while in remand.

Recently requested public records show Sadlo’s actions were a deliberate part of a strategy involving others inside and outside of Yamhill County government to circumvent land use law. His role in the matter has the County potentially liable for millions of dollars in grant money obtained through ODOT under false pretenses. A June 2020 email from ODOT warned the County its actions may have negative consequences. He could also be charged with violating ORS 294.100 which deals with government officials who willfully and wantonly squander public funds. That carries a high level of proof and a much higher penalty of personal financial liability.

Sadlo was named applicant for a pedestrian pathway on an abandoned rail right-of-way by the 2012 Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners acted on an official but false report that said farmers had no objection to the Trail. The Trail was to be a recreational facility inserted into exclusive farm use zoning. Under Oregon’s Land Use Law the pathway, named Yamhelas-Westsider Trail, would be a non-conforming use. To operate the non-conforming recreational pathway the County would need to obtain a Conditional Use Permit before proceeding. To receive such a permit the County would first have to pass an Agriculture Impact Study showing no substantial harm to farming practices.

The County failed to pass such a Study but proceeded to buy the abandoned right of way and begin construction of a bridge substantial enough to carry light rail. A change to the Board of Commissioners brought the improper actions to light and now Sadlo and other County staff complicit in the matter are likely to be held accountable. Improper actions also involved two past commissioners and one current commissioner who will face the voters in 2022.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-05-25 07:15:36Last Update: 2021-05-25 09:37:11



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