Disincorporation group calls for Damascus investigation
Early Friday morning, June 21, the Citizens Committee for Disincorporation called for an investigation to be opened against people "claiming to represent the 'city of Damascus.'"
The request was sent to Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote, citing violations of ORS 162.365 Criminal Impersonation of a Public Servant by James De Young and others. The recent development continues the contentious battle that has occurred within Damascus since an Oregon Court of Appeals ruling on May 1 muddied the disincorporation actions that occurred in 2016.
"The anti-government folks spun out of control," wrote unofficial volunteer Damascus 'City Manager' Richard Carson. "They are claiming the mayor of Damascus is illegal and want him persecuted — or is it prosecuted?"
Some in Damascus saw the Appellate decision as a green light to restart city business. De Young and fellow councilors started holding special city council meetings, filled vacancies on council, selected De Young as mayor, recruited a budget committee, hired a part-time volunteer city manager and more.
But others in Damascus, like the Citizens Committee for Disincorporation, have been troubled by the speed with which that group is moving. They said that De Young and the other councilors should wait, as the Appellate decision only remanded the decision back to the Clackamas County Circuit Court.
"James De Young has claimed to be 'Mayor of Damascus' in many meetings and media interviews, signed in and announced himself as 'Mayor' at an Oregon Senate hearing, and has now contacted public agencies claiming to represent the 'City of Damascus' and asking them to enter service agreements with this supposed entity," the Disincorporation Committee statement read.
"It is our opinion that the 'City of Damascus' does not currently exist in any legal form, and therefore any claim to be an elected official from a non-existent political entity is an obvious and blatant violation of the clear language of the statute," the statement continued.
The Citizens Committee for Disincorporation plans to continue pushing back against the reformation of the city of Damascus.
"Their antics are getting more and more pathetic," Carson wrote.
De Young is reviewing the letter with his attorney.
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