The Times’ investigative report on Bob Shelstrom’s attacks on sanitary district staff was very revealing, exposing the true nature of a “disruptor.” Now you can see what we at the Sanitary District have had to deal with. Actually, it’s worse that what you read.
Shelstrom misread the statutes and jumped to the conclusion that we had violated the law in the bidding process. He was completely wrong. The legislature gave public entities the right to use alternate bid procedures. Shelstrom, ridiculously, now refers to this as a “loophole.” He could have simply asked for a legal clarification. Instead, he gave us two days to respond or he threatened to report us to the Arizona Attorney General. Who does that?
It gets worse. He sent us a second letter threatening to report our district manager for an ethics violation with the National Society of Professional Engineers because of her concern for employee safety in the underground well vaults. In short, he threatened to destroy her professional reputation. Our attorney deemed that to be potentially defamatory. Shelstrom went so far as to assert that her annual merit increase was an illegal quid pro quo for supporting the restroom project. To cap it off, he demanded of her a public apology in The Times. Who does that?
Previously, I had met with Shelstrom and advised him that he was free to publicly challenge the board members as public officials, but staff was off-limits. Shelstrom agreed but a week later attacked our district manager in a phone conversation he had with her. Who does that?
After all this, does anyone believe that it would be possible to work with this “disruptor?” In my opinion, it would be a disaster to vote him onto any public board, but I leave that choice to the voters.