The saga of the Veterans Advisory Council

As reported earlier, on March 4, 2021, Shull stated his intent to disband the Veterans Advisory Council. What was the story behind this?

On February 25, the Clackamas County Veterans Advisory Council met with Commissioner Shull in a tightly-run meeting directed by county mediation staff. In the meeting, three veterans gave their very powerful testimony about how Shull’s behavior has hurt them and the community, then Shull spoke, then the veterans asked him three questions. After that, the public and the veterans were allowed to comment. 

Adam Khosroabadi was one board member who gave testimony.

Casey Curry also gave very powerful testimony.

Shull was his usual defensive and dismissive self. He repeatedly demanded that those who questioned him provide actual people that he had insulted personally; seemingly unable to recognize that he could he could hurt people through his actions. He defended his anti-Muslim comments, once again claiming that he had not attacked “peaceful Muslims”- although, of course, he had.

At the March 4 Clackamas County Board of Commissioners meeting, after several of his supporters testified against the VAC, Commissioner Shull asked that the council be disbanded. County Administrator Gary Schmidt agreed to investigate, and Chair Tootie Smith supported punishing the council.

On March 10, Pamplin Media reported on Shiull’s attempt to disband the council.

Khosroabadi said that Shull shouldn’t need to be given an example of a victim in order to understand the hurt and distrust his comments have sewn. Khosroabadi was shocked to learn that Shull had turned to county commissioners and suggested disbanding the current VAC following the meeting.

“It was almost like the commitment to open dialogue only lasted about 24 hours,” Khosroabadi said. “It was saddening because he’s a veteran, many of us thanked him for his service, and instead of continuing the dialogue and getting to the root of the issue, it was, ‘Let’s just disband it.'”

Khosroabadi likened the call to disband the current VAC to Shull’s statements equating calls for him to resign to “cancel culture.” “Because we spoke out against what he said, he’s trying to cancel us,” he said.

Mark Shull suggests disbanding Clackamas County veterans council

At the March 30 meeting, Gary Schmidt provided the results of his investigation. He recommended against disbanding the council and stated that, “I felt that, from my perspective, it actually was a quite respectful meeting. There were some strong opinions shared, but the meeting itself appeared to be professional.”

This episode illustrated, once again, Shull’s anger and inability to realize his own faults and shortcomings. Luckily, this time calmer and saner minds prevailed, and the VAC can continue to do their valuable job for the community.