Wahkiakum County commissioners on Tuesday approved one of two claims for damages caused by county employees.
Commissioners Blair Brady and Mike Backman--Dan Cothren was out of town at another meeting--approved a $230.99 damage claim from Leon Grooff of Bellevue for damage his travel trailer sustained while boarding the ferry Wahkiakum last July.
The steepness of the ramp caused the trailer to drag, he said, and that destroyed his stabilizing jacks.
Brady and Backman agreed the claim was valid and should be paid.
However, they rejected a $408.93 claim from Elochoman Valley resident Gary Dobbins for damage to a garage door. Sheriff's department officers damaged the door while executing a search warrant in November.
A deputy "smelled a skunk and got a search warrant and kicked in my garage door," Dobbins said in his claim. "Not a piece of evidence was found to confirm this allegation."
The deputy told Dobbins to fix the door and file the claim.
However, the commissioners, who had discussed the claims with legal counsel, refused to pay.
The damage occurred during the execution of a valid search warrant, Brady said, and it appeared from reports that there was minimal damage, for the door worked when officers left the scene.
"This is a very unfortunate situation," Backman said. "He thought he was in his legal right to have some compensation."