The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office announced the filing of charges of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree against three former administrators of the Bend FC Timbers youth soccer club. The state elected to file the Class C Misdemeanor offense as a violation, the DA’s Office said in a press release.
The action is being taken against former executive director Tara Bilanski, former assistant director and coach Jen Davin and former accountant and bookkeeper Emily Williams.
The DA’s Office later clarified that although the charges were for criminal mischief, a violation conviction would be the equivalent of a traffic ticket and that it is not a conviction of a crime.
An attorney who says he’s representing Bilanski told Central Oregon Daily News that the DA’s Office made the filing “after and obtaining only information from the Plaintiff’s in a pending Civil Case.”
FROM THE ARCHIVE: Bend Timbers soccer club files lawsuit against former executive director
Here is more from the DA’s Office explaining what led to the announcement:
“All three suspects were dissatisfied with the way Timbers FC was being run. Bilanski was eventually terminated. At the same time Bilanski was terminated, a group of coaches and staff, including Davin and Williams, sent a letter to the board informing them that they were going on strike.
During the period immediately after Bilanski was terminated, a group spearheaded by Bilanski, and including Davin and Williams, tried to rally support for a takeover of the board. Simultaneously Davin, Williams, and Bilanski exchanged communications regarding documents and information important to Bend FC Timbers that were stored in the organization’s Google drive. The three indicated a desire to keep this information from the board of directors.
The State alleges that Bilanski and Williams intentionally deleted hundreds of documents from the Google drive for the express purpose of inconveniencing and interfering with the Bend FC Timbers access to these documents. The State further alleges that Davin moved documents into the Google drive trash from which they would be deleted.
In conjunction with these deletions Bilanski, Williams, and Davin downloaded a host of documents from Bend FC Timbers’ Google drive so they could maintain access to these documents in order to set up a competing organization: Apex Soccer Club.”
“Members of a local non-profit organization focused on kids disagreed with the board of directors of the organization, and rather than channeling their ire into advocating for change, they unlawfully tampered and interfered with property of the organization,” District Attorney John Hummel said in a statement. “In addition to setting a bad example for the kids served by the organization, the actions of the suspects in this case violated the law.”
All three, who are innocent until proven guilty, face an initial court appearance on Dec. 29.
Here is a story we did on the controversy from November 2021