The Case Against Salem Attorney, Nathan Reitmann
Update: KID attorney Nathan Reitmann has been cleared of misconduct charges by the Oregon State Bar Association.
KID’s other new attorney – Nathan Reitmann of Salem – is currently serving as General Counsel for KID. He has an obligation to communicate with his client, which includes all five board members.
Mr. Reitmann earlier this year assisted the “District” in terminating the employment of KID Manager Mark Stuntebeck. The “District” in this case, consisted of the three majority board members, who he advised to take an action that violates the public meeting law by making decisions to: (1) retain him; and (2) move toward termination of the Manager’s employment without communicating with Board members Cacka and Carleton. This is just one example where Reitmann has provided legal advice to the new KID Board majority, excluding Directors Cacka and Carleton from decisions.
The Oregon State Bar is already investigating allegations that Mr. Reitmann aided and coached the majority of the members of the Board of Directors to violate the Public Meeting Law and their obligation to KID to act as a public body at a public meeting (see the Oregon Bar Complaint at the bottom of this page).
The Oregon State Bar is also investigating a very serious potential conflict of interest with Mr. Reitmann that has implications for KID’s water rights. Nathan Reitmann represents lame-duck Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams and his wife in a court case where Mr. Mallams is charged with illegally pumping groundwater after the state of Oregon in 2015 ordered him to stop.
KID’s position in this litigation is opposite that of the Mallams. Reitmann’s representation of the Mallams and KID presents a clear conflict of interest that has not been discussed or waived by action of the KID Board at a public meeting, as required by law. Further, Mr. Reitmann has at times represented Water for Life, an organization that has on many occasions opposed legislation and/or litigation brought on behalf of irrigation districts in Oregon, including KID. This is also a potential conflict of interest, and one that does not benefit KID patrons. Reitmann was retained without providing any disclosure to Directors Cacka and Carleton of his conflict of interest in his representation of the Mallams in an action directly adverse to the interests of KID until nearly a month after he began representing KID.
Read the bar complaint against Mr. Reitmann: 2016.05.09 Oregon State Bar Complaint.Rietmann