Unofficial website about the
WASHINGTON CITIES INSURANCE AUTHORITY,
whose address is below
Andover Park East, Suite 104 Tukwila, WA 98188
... where integrity appears
I extend my sincere thanks to those of
you who've informed me that WCIA failed, unlawfully, to
adjust particular third-party claims, in some instances
additionally failing, unlawfully, to provide
notification of the "refusal to pay" -- and in
all cases wrongfully
compelling the defrauded claimants to consider otherwise
entirely unnecessary litigation to recover originally
sought damages. This information has established
that the opportunistic, underhanded, roundly unlawful,
court-abusing and taxpayer-bilking WCIA scheme
addressed on WCIA.biz has been resorted to with
regularity. -- Kevin Murphy
.....One would think that a Washington Cities
Insurance Authority, or "Authority," that has adjusted tens of thousands
of claims since 1981 would have the process down pat. Yet, when it
came to an admittedly meritorious claim presented by Kevin
Murphy to the City of
Kirkland as a former nine-year police officer, the sought damages of "no
less than $711,245.26" seem to have caused a since-departed WCIA
executive director and a still-serving general counsel to lose command
of their senses.
.....Instead of the Authority's
"claims team" adjusting the city-forwarded claim, as mandated by
governing Washington "claims settlement" law and the statute-bound
provision in the Authority
contract that, as a "responsibility," WCIA
"shall provide claims adjusting services," now-gone WCIA executive
director Lew Leigh simply "denied" the claim.
(The word "denied" is in quotation marks because, logically, per state
law, a claim cannot be denied without
.....As this page's "smoking gun"
sidebar (to the right) addresses, Authority general counsel Mark
Bucklin participated in a hijacking of the claim in which,
instead of allowing the WCIA claims team to adjust it, it was decided through
unholy discussion that -- in violation of the Authority's
by-laws and a
holding of the
Washington State Supreme Court -- WCIA would "defend against it." Given
that WCIA later acknowledged to Murphy that the properly conformed, fully supported $711K+ claim
is both covered and meritorious, it's manifest that, had the Authority
adjusted it (per law and contract), WCIA would have been
obligated by Washington law to "effectuate prompt, fair and equitable
settlement" (payment). .
general counsel Mark Bucklin participated in a hijacking
of the claim."
.....That didn't happen. What
did happen is that, (1) with Leigh, in violation of the WCIA
by-laws, having assigned Bucklin as "defense counsel" to the city before the discussion that led to the claim's unlawful denial, and,
thus, (2) before the so-called "denial"
unlawfullytriggered WCIA-"anticipated" yet otherwise
entirely unnecessary litigation by Murphy against the city, the fait
accompli, court-abusing litigation earned more than
$220K for Bucklin's namesake law firm,
Keating, Bucklin & McCormack (KB&M), for which, at the time,
he was board
chairman, president and managing shareholder.
To learn more about the outrageous
conduct of Leigh and Bucklin, see the
"WCIA has failed to honor the former
board president's written promise to Murphy of remedial
adjustment (settlement) of his never-adjusted claim.
Ass-covering dishonesty appears to reign supreme."
New WCIA director Bennett unwilling to facilitate righting of $711K+
wrong She blows off Murphy's request for help
records request to WCIA unearthed the "smoking gun" letter addressed in
this page's sidebar (to the right), Murphy figured that Lew Leigh's
successor as Authority executive director, Ann Bennett,
as an 18-year veteran of that "pubic body," would welcome the
opportunity to affirmatively intervene in the travesty of WCIA's roundly
unlawful, contract-violating failure to adjust and settle (pay) a fully
supported, covered, admittedly meritorious claim seeking "no less than
$711,245.26" in damages for Murphy's wrongful constructive discharge by
the City of Kirkland.
.....That thinking proved misplaced,
however, because Murphy wrongly
assumed that Bennett, as WCIA's executive director, would
responsibly meet her duties to (1) faithfully serve the
Authority's governing Board of Directors, (2) respect controlling Washington law, (3) abide by
WCIA's contract and by-laws, and (4) protect the Authority's reputation and
regulatory standing. Instead, Bennett put personal interests first and
sustained the stonewalling cover-up begun by
predecessorLeigh. As revealed by
documents that Murphy wrested from WCIA, Bennett herself
is complicit in the "hijack and murder" of Murphy's claim.
As the Authority's then-deputy director of Claims,
she allowed Leigh to toss the "rule book" out the window in
sidelining her claims team (with its adjusters) so he could
"deny" a never-adjusted
claim that an Authority review later found to be clearly
The WCIA Interlocal Agreement (ILA, or "contract"), in its
Article 11 ("Officers of the Authority") states, "The Executive
Director shall have the general administrative responsibility
for the activities of the Joint Protection Program"
(JPP). And that's the program that "provides claims
adjusting services," as mandated, as a WCIA
"responsibility," by the same ILA at Article 16. Furthermore,
when Murphy's unadjusted meritorious claim was denied by the
Authority in violation of Washington law and the statute-bound
ILA, and when WCIA contemporaneously sent Murphy its sham
"denial" letter, the JPP was under the purview
of then-deputy director of Claims
Bennett. Having left that position to assume the
outgoing-Leigh's position as executive director,
with a greater professional, ethical and moral obligation to
finally "make things right" than Bennett herself.
.....As the record shows, Bennett was
a party to multiple post-denial internal WCIA communications
about the killed-off claim.
Given Bennett's plum appointment as Authority executive director, it seems
that "going along to get along" can have very tangible
benefits, especially given a five-percent raise in salary in
addition to the promotion.
.....Addressed in the sidebar to the
right, the "smoking gun" WCIA letter wasn't unearthed by
Murphy's records "mining" until October of 2013. Since
then, and with the unlimited "bro bono" assistance of an
attorney brother who in 1980 graduated with honors from Harvard Law
School, Murphy (1) thoroughly scrubbed all Washington law applicable to
WCIA as a local government "risk pool," (2) reviewed and organized myriad enlightening documents obtained from the Authority through his
successive records requests, including the WCIA contract ("service
agreement") with Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) member
and WCIA general counsel Mark Bucklin, who is also complicit in the claim's "denial."
Because Murphy assumed, albeit wrongly, that Bennett
would want to see things set right, he wrote and delivered a
her in which he notified her of a pending complaint ("grievance") of his to WSBA about
Bucklin. With the letter chronicling the most egregious instances
of WCIA law-breaking (and contract and by-laws violating) and including
an enclosure of Authority-damning material from the draft complaint,
Murphy invited Bennett to contact him regarding a letter-proposed
meeting between the two.
Murphy viewed the meeting offer as a
for Bennett to act in
WCIA's best (i.e.,legitimate) interests. His letter
advised her that the Bucklin complaint, because it implicates the
Authority in serious violations of state law, would be provided under
separate cover letters to Washington's insurance commissioner, risk
manager, auditor and attorney general, each of whom has regulatory
authority over WCIA.
"Given Bennett's plum appointment as
WCIA executive director, it seems that 'going along to get along' can have very tangible
The letter, with enclosure, points out that because
Bucklin, as WCIA's general counsel, is, by state law, a "municipal
officer," and because, by accepting Leigh's assignment of him as
"defense counsel" to the City of Kirkland, Bucklin entered into a per se
conflict of interest of his own making that resulted in his law firm
(KB&M) earning more than $220K in
Authority payments for legal services to the city.
As if that isn't outrageous enough, the letter
notes that the subject assignment, which meets the statutory definition
of a contract
(purchase of legal services) (1) violated the WCIA
positioned Bucklin to materially participate in, which he did, the
Authority's statute- and contract-violating failure to adjust and settle
(pay) a covered, meritorious $711K+ claim, and (3) resulted in the
WCIA-anticipated, unlawfully compelled,
otherwise entirely unnecessary,
and court-abusing litigation that meant windfall profits for "chairman" Bucklin's KB&M.
And, going from outrageous to obscene, because the
assignment was prohibited by Washington law as a conflict of interest,
and because the otherwise unnecessary litigation was unlawfully
compelled, the letter also notes that the Authority
$220K+ in public funds ("taxpayer dollars"); and it did so incident to a
contract-violating, statutorily "void"
Dishonoring a written WCIA promise
to Murphy and ignoring a readily available means of settling (paying)
his admittedly meritorious claim, she sent him a self-serving,
(See also Murphy's linked response.).
Check out the website's "State
That new page was added so that the State Auditor's Office has it
for easy reference in acting on Murphy's Citizen
Hotline report, which included the
entire WCIA.biz website
as an "inseparable" element. The "Hotline" report
addresses WCIA's serial misappropriations of
public funds in a roundly unlawful scheme that
defrauds claimants, members and taxpayers.
"Contrary to law, contract
and years of everyday practice, WCIA absurdly
contends it has no obligation to adjust third-party
'Smoking gun' discovered
.....It took a stroke of luck
and a fourth public records request
to obtain a telltale WCIA
letter, and that "smoking gun" reveals why the Authority would
rather have kept it secret.
.....The letter, written to
state risk manager Lucy Isaki, articulates the
preposterous position that WCIA has no
obligation to adjust citizens' damage claims against its 150-plus
"risk pool" members, each of which is a local government entity, such as the City of
position must come as quite a surprise to the Authority's many
members given that they all signed a contract requiring the
program's administrators to "provide claims adjusting
services," for which the members pay sizable annual
"member assessments" (premiums).
come-lately, utterly bogus WCIA assertion is all the more bizarre given that the Authority
adjusts roughly 2,000 claims a year collectively submitted by
its membership, with a large share of the claims coming from
members of the public seeking compensation for government-caused
are called "third-party" claims because the claimants are not
parties to the insurance contract, as are WCIA's member entities themselves.
absolute "claims adjusting" provision of the Authority contract is bound by
Washington "claims settlement" law, which makes no distinction
between first- and third-party claims regarding WCIA's
obligation -- as routinely met by qualified adjusters -- to investigate them and,
in "good faith," seek prompt
and fair settlement (payment) when liability is "reasonably
shockingly dishonest WCIA became enmeshed in a
self-spun web of deceit."
The below sections of the
Revised Code of Washington illustrate the sentiment of
the state legislature,
acting on behalf of "the people."
The business of insurance is
one affected by the public interest, requiring that all
persons be actuated by good faith, abstain from
deception, and practice honesty and equity in all
insurance matters. Upon the insurer, the insured, their
providers, and their representatives rests the duty of
preserving inviolate the integrity of insurance.
The people of this state do not
yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them.
The people, in delegating authority, do not give their
public servants the right to decide what is good for the
people to know and what is not good for them to know.
The people insist on remaining informed so that they may
maintain control over the instruments that they have
created. This chapter shall be liberally construed and
its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public
policy and to assure that the public interest will be
fully protected. In the event of conflict between the
provisions of this chapter and any other act, the
provisions of this chapter shall govern.
Section 42.56.030 Public Records Act
Have you had a bad experience
with WCIA? Please
share it with Kevin Murphy. Mail@WCIA.biz
Claim-specific input from
visitors to WCIA.biz has established
that WCIA has resorted to its roundly unlawful scheme
with regularity, thereby defrauding
claimants, members and the citizen taxpayers
unwittingly "funding" the scheme. The people of
Washington owe a debt of thanks to the activist "watch
dogs" who've used the above link to initiate
communications with this website's publisher.
WCIA apparently has no
qualms whatsoever about speaking from both sides of its
mouth. After Murphy caught the Authority -- in
violation of law and contract --
deliberately failing to adjust and settle his
fully supported, meritorious $711K+ damage claim against
the City of Kirkland, he asked WCIA's Executive
Committee (or, the "committee") to direct remedial
settlement of the claim. In fact, Tony Piasecki,
as then-president of the Authority's governing Board of
Directors, personally promised Murphy in writing that he
would ensure that WCIA had complied with "policy" in the
claim's denial. So why didn't
the committee see to it that Murphy's claim was settled?
Because Lew Leigh, as the red-handed Authority executive
director who had personally denied the claim as part of
the outrageously illicit WCIA scheme, brought in
"trusted" outside attorney Mike Bolasina to tell the
committee that the Authority had acted properly in
denying the claim because it had no obligation to adjust it.
That monumental falsehood --which had been previously fabricated
by Bolasina for the benefit of cover-seeking, paying
"client" Leigh -- caused the Executive Committee to
erroneously deny Murphy's request.
That's "one side" of WCIA's
mouth (or one half of its forked tongue). The
"other side" (or tongue
half) is perhaps best illustrated by an article written
by Authority Claims Manager Reed Hardesty for the fall
2014 edition of WCIA's quarterly newsletter, "The
Authority." Hardesty's remarks are in the context
of a statute-required independent audit of WCIA's claims
handling. Notably, the article doesn't address why
the claims audit went back seven years
when, by law, the Authority is obligated to undergo such
an audit "every three years at a minimum." [WAC
200-100-050(7)]. Below, with emphasis added, is an
abridgement of the Hardesty article. It's
important to bear in mind that WCIA's obligation,
mandated by law and contract, to "provide claims
adjusting services" for member-transmitted claims
applies equally to first- and
third-party claims -- i.e., all claims
received by the Authority.
In July, our claims
operation was audited by Praxis Claims
Consulting. The auditor received a listing of
all our claims for the last seven years and he
selected 70, open and closed claims to review
our claim handling compared to industry and
pooling claim practices.
The report concluded by stating “the files show
excellent claims handling adherence to standard
industry best practices. WCIA complies with the
WAC as well as AGRIP’s advisory standards.
The current claims staff appears to have the
technical expertise and sophistication necessary
to properly handle the current inventory of
The auditor looks for
timely acknowledgement and investigation of
claims and reasonable claim decisions based on
the information known at the time. An
important element of claims handling is
reserving. It is the claim
adjuster’s job to analyze the anticipated end
result of a particular claim and “reserve” or
call out that dollar amount in the claims
Most of our claims resolve within 60
days. The actuary uses ... reserves to
understand likely future financial needs of the
pool to meet the claim obligations. Those
claim obligations are the single largest element
of what you pay WCIA through the member
The audit requirement is valuable and
allows members an outsider’s view our claims
staff’s operation. [The auditor]
recognized the membership’s engagement in the
claims process and the experience of the claims
staff in handling these exposures as a strength
One can't help but
wonder why it is that members
of a WCIA Executive Committee swallowed hook, line and
sinker the "artificial bait" cast them
by the law-trampling Leigh's outside "defense" attorney
(Bolasina); then read a Hardesty newsletter article
making it abundantly clear that -- as
mandated by controlling provisions of WAC
sections 284-30-330 and 200-100-050 and the
statute-bound Authority contract -- WCIA
does, in fact, have an obligation to
adjust third-party claims and to settle
(pay) them when meritorious, as is
Murphy's, which Bolasina himself has
acknowledged. Of course, that's why
Bolasina -- on behalf of paying "client" Leigh --
fashioned the bait cast to the committee's gobbling-down
members, including Authority board president Piasecki.
After all, repeated below for emphasis, Hardesty wrote,
Those claim obligations
are the single largest element of what you pay
WCIA through the member assessment.
This is not
the website of the WASHINGTON CITIES INSURANCE AUTHORITY,
which is at www.wciapool.org. WCIA.biz Copyright (c) 2014 by Kevin Murphy.
All Rights Reserved.