Tuesday, February 7, 2012
DALLAS -- A federal lawsuit that alleged State Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) diverted earnings from his military training company to political campaigns and personal use was dropped almost as quickly as it was announced last week.
Danny and Lorrie O'Brien of Lakewood, Wash., filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Jan. 31, stating that Boquist and another business partner forced the O'Briens out as heads of the firm ICI Wyoming in December.
ICI is a defense contractor that coordinates battlefield simulations and exercises for U.S. military personnel.
The plaintiffs claimed Boquist "directed thousands of dollars of revenue" generated by ICI to another of Boquist's companies, Powder River Cartridge Company LLC.
State campaign finance records show contributions from this entity to different political causes, including $5,000 apiece to the Boquist Leadership Fund and Oregon Republican Party in 2010.
The O'Briens sought $75,000 from Boquist and ICI in the case. On Friday, however, they filed a motion to dismiss their lawsuit "without prejudice."
No summaries were issued in the case and neither Boquist, or co-defendants Peggy Boquist, his wife, and business partner Marcus Hines were served with a summons. There was also no settlement, the motion showed.
Asked why his clients dropped the case, the O'Briens' attorney, Jason Whalen, said: "The parties are working cooperatively to resolve issues of mutual concern, which we hope will obviate the need for further litigation by any party."
Stories on the lawsuit first surfaced in Portland-area newspapers on Friday. The Itemizer-Observer asked Boquist via e-mail to comment on the allegations.
Boquist replied, and opined on then-published news reports; he said he was notified of the dismissal, but hadn't yet personally read the original filing.
"I don't know of any fraudulent activities of any sort that could be attributed to any existing employee, manager or executive in any of our companies at this time," Boquist wrote.
"Our firm's public donations, whether to charities or causes, are all on the public records, so I'm not sure what is secret," he also wrote.
Part of the lawsuit centered on a decision to forgo extending an existing defense training subcontract; Boquist wrote that "the war is coming to an end" and that defense firms are scaling back.
"It seems strange to me a suit is filed to be placed online (near) the opening of the (legislative) session, then dismissed this morning," Boquist wrote. "We never got served a copy nor have I yet read a copy of the supposed complaint.
"Again, all rather strange, but welcome to politics."