Editor’s note: In the past five years, the city of Bainbridge Island has been in Kitsap County Superior Court at least 16 times (172 times since 1991), and its police four times and its school district three times. This series capsulizes those records to show what kinds of cases have gone to court. This article looks at police and school cases.
Nov. 10, 2022
Court records show Margaret Dufresne of Bainbridge Island is suing the department in a personal injury case. Dufresne claims that Joan Geraghty for four years has harassed her as she walks by her house to get to the construction site of her new home. In return, Geraghty has filed an anti-harassment order against Dufresne. Geraghty put up video cameras and even though Dufresne says they showed Geraghty was lying police took no action. Dufresne has a chart showing about 20 times from March 2018 to June 2019 when police took no action. Dufresne lists 20 other times Geraghty made complaints, but they were not backed up by video evidence. Dufresne claims she had to spend $30,000 defending herself against two criminal charges made by Geraghty. The lawsuit says, “Geraghty’s incessant stalking of Margaret has caused Margaret to suffer depression and panic attacks. Geraghty has stripped away all the joy Margaret should have living in her dream home. Instead, Margaret is building a new home away from the walk to escape Geraghty’s stalking and constant bullying.” The suit continues saying police owed Dufresne protection afforded her against Geraghty’s harassing actions. It also breached its duty when it failed to charge Geraghty with numerous incidents of making a false statement to a public servant exposed by her own video evidence. It adds that Dufresne is entitled to damages in amount that she will prove at trial.
Nov. 10, 2022
A 36-year-old Poulsbo man was convicted of vehicular assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, court records show. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and 18 months probation. He was driving under the influence on Highway 305 near Morgan Road when he struck a vehicle in front of him, pushing it into the oncoming lane, causing that vehicle to be struck head-on by another vehicle. A woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries. The man was seen throwing drug-related items over the guardrail down an embankment.
Sept. 25, 2018
A 44-year-old man was found guilty of vehicular assault and third-degree assault. He was sentenced to 11 months in jail and a year probation. He was southbound on Madison Avenue when he rear-ended another car, pushing it onto a sidewalk where it struck a pedestrian. When asked to sign a DUI Arrest Report, the man raised the pen in a stabbing motion and was restrained, court records say.
May 23, 2018
Court records say a 33-year-old man was convicted of DUI, ignition interlock device violation and driving with a suspended license. He was sentenced to 14 months in prison and a year probation. The man crashed into a telephone pole off of NE Valley Road. Witnesses said he asked them not to call police because he had been drinking. Medics said he told them he drank a bottle of whiskey in two hours. He had a number of previous DUI convictions.
Jan. 10, 2023
A $12 million lawsuit was filed by a mother and another against the district and some individuals regarding cyberstalking claims against her son. It says the school protected the accusers, not the son, even though the accusations were false. In reality, the suit says the son was a victim of social media postings. The girls admitted so and wrote an apology letter to the teacher. They were not disciplined. Fourteen months later it happened again. This time the girls claimed sexual harassment against the boy. Computer coverup and police involvement further clouded the case. The suit says there was complete disregard for the truth, and the boy’s reputation was ruined. There was an effort to remove him from the yearbook and to prevent him from attending his only selected and accepted university.
July 27, 2022
This lawsuit by Nathan and Caleb Durrance is against the district, school board, superintendent, principal and athletic director. The Durrances say basketball coach Steven Haizlip used harassment, intimidation and bullying while working with his team. Haizlip was not held to the standard because it was “not an intentional act.” An in-depth informal survey was circulated. The Durrances showed dozens and dozens of pages from players and community members complaining about the coach. As for relief from the court, the Durrances asked for Haizlip’s removal, fees and costs and other relief as the court deemed appropriate. But Haizlip said he would be more positive in the future, and in the end he kept his job but was monitored this season.
Nov. 18, 2021
This lawsuit was filed by the son mentioned in the Jan. 10, 2023 case. He says the district allowed 19 female students to falsely accuse him via the district’s Google Drive dossier. It claims female students and teachers/staff sexually discriminated against a male student. It says many did not adhere to the district’s own policies and procedures. It also alleges conflicts of interest and sexually harassing conduct. It says the district’s investigation was contradictory and misleading. It says a school board member did not recuse himself even though his wife was a school counselor. Requested relief included that staff had acted in bad faith, staff undertake training and any other relief the court deemed appropriate.