Roumell fights latest code citation: Councilman pays fines on two earlier tickets for not getting building permits, pleads not guilty to third issued by former employee

Ethan Brogan

He rose slowly as Judge Jim Hardee called his name. Standing at the podium, he answered questions quickly while holding his plea paperwork. His voice was quiet, humble, not at all like the voice he uses in the same room during town council meetings – louder and more assertive.
He was on the other side of the room, at the mercy of the court, instead of sitting behind a desk adorned with a plaque bearing his name. His hand shook, he needed to clear his throat, his voice trembled. He put pen on paper cementing his “not guilty” plea to the court and confidently signed his name: Bruce Roumell.
This is the latest chapter of a lengthy dispute between the Glenrock town councilman and a former town employee. This misdemeanor charge – Roumell’s third since January – was the final piece of an investigation conducted by the town’s former director of Building, Planning and Community Development, Kasey Drummond, after repeated disagreements between the two.
During his May 16 appearance in Glenrock Municipal Court — which convenes in the same room as the Glenrock Town Council — Roumell faced the spot in the room he usually occupies, while standing at the podium reserved for those speaking to the council.
Roumell, a plumbing contractor and mayoral candidate, is fighting the third citation he has received this year for allegedly working without a permit. Two citations are the result of an audit started by Drummond of select building projects in Glenrock.
Roumell paid fines of $750 each for the first two citations. A conviction on this third one, however, could result in his town license being revoked for a calendar year. So he is fighting it.
A building permit is required for plumbers under town code for many types of repairs, including replacement of water heaters or anything requiring a valve to be installed – though Roumell disagrees with that interpretation of the code. The permit cost depends on the size and scope of the work.
Roumell was required to come to Drummond when he needed a permit for some of the work by his business, Roumell Plumbing & Heating Inc. Drummond insists she rarely saw him applying for a permit.
“Usually I avoided her as much as I could,” Roumell said the day before his court appearance. “She’s never liked me, and I‘ve never had anything to do with her.”
The tension between the two was no secret. It began in November 2016, when Mayor Doug Frank told Drummond that the council wanted to fire her, information he shared from an executive session meeting of the council.
Because the situation directly dealt with her employment with the town, Frank and former Treasurer Andrew Sibai told Drummond about what was said in the council meeting, according to Frank.
Executive sessions are closed to the public and, under state law, are confidential unless ordered to be made public by a judge.
Drummond said she felt Councilmen Dennis Flynn, Russ Dalgarn and Roumell were bent on driving her out.
“(They) said that I wasn’t doing my job,” Drummond recalled earlier this month.
Drummond said she was led to believe that the council members who spoke against her felt she should be certified as a code enforcement officer and building inspector. But she said such certification was not a requirement for her position.
“I’ve always felt the person in that job should have taken a license code compliance officer’s test,” Roumell contended.
“There is a huge difference between being licensed and being certified,” Dalgarn said, remarking he believed Drummond to have claimed she was licensed.
Drummond claims she has never said she was licensed, only certified.
Drummond was, in fact, certified for four aspects of her job. According to the International Code Council website listing certifications and licenses, Drummond held certifications for residential plumbing inspector, residential building inspector, building inspector and commercial building inspector in 2016-18.
Drummond fought back and forth with councilmen Roumell, Flynn and Dalgarn about her certifications to be a building inspector during the subsequent 18 months prior to her resignation in April. Those arguments, many occurring during town council meetings, were used to intimidate her, Drummond contended.
Councilman Chad Beer, who is a contractor who regularly obtained permits from Drummond, agreed with her assessment.
“(Roumell) has made it very clear that he did not like Kasey,” Beer said. “I think they (Roumell and Flynn) were attacking her, trying to get her to run out.”
“There is no question in my mind that Kasey was highly qualified to do her job,” Frank said recently.

Investigation begins
Drummond’s curiosity was sparked because Roumell rarely approached her to pull a permit. She decided to check the performance of contractors in town — including Roumell — so she started an investigation to see how much work was being done in the town with and without permits.
The first hurdle she hit was at the Glenrock School District, she said, where former Superintendent Kirk Hughes refused to give her records of contractors who worked in the district between 2013-17.
Under terms of the state’s Public Records Act, those records should have been released. Nonetheless, she was stonewalled.
Drummond started digging deeper. She combed through old copies of the Glenrock Independent looking for public notices involving the school district. By the time Drummond finished her review, Hughes had stepped down and Coley Shadrick was hired as superintendent. In 2017, Shadrick provided her access to all the public documents she needed.
When she finished her audit of the four-year period, Drummond found 31 jobs in the district for which she believed permits were required but never obtained.
Of those, 28 involved Roumell’s company, according to the audit documents provided to the Independent.
“It’s pretty black and white when you’re . . . supposed to pull a permit,” Beer said.
Drummond’s search showed 22 other jobs Roumell completed for the school district, but the invoices she found didn’t contain enough information for her to determine if a permit was needed.
Drummond said she felt needed to act to enforce the town code. She sent out a letter to all contractors in Glenrock reminding them of the town code and requirements to pull a permit.
She sent emails and memos to Long Building Technologies, GW Mechanical, Sheet Metal Specialties, Amcon Inc. and Roumell Plumbing & Heating Inc. detailing which of the projects they handled for the school district required permits.
Long Building Technologies was the only company to fork over cash for the permits after the fact. GW Mechanical still has one outstanding job where a permit was never filed.
“The ones that she had those issues with, they resolved that problem immediately,” Frank said. “To the licensed contractors in town that were aware of this . . . and continued to violate the rules, that is a tougher question.”
Once again, Drummond said, she heard nothing from Roumell.
“He’s a bully. He says he doesn’t need to pull permits,” Drummond said, saying she sent Roumell numerous letters reminding him of town codes.
Throughout 2017, Roumell did not comply, according to town records and Drummond.
“She has done everything in her power to retaliate against me since (Frank told her about the executive session),” Roumell said.
Not everyone on the council saw it that way.
“I feel like she went very much after these violations when she found them and undoubtedly, she did so facing not just perceived discontent from several council members but obvious discontent,” Frank said.
Then, Drummond turned her attention to another project Roumell had worked on during the last 25 years: Trails Apartments. Manager Sharon Kemp informed Drummond that Roumell replaced two 80-gallon gas heaters in 2011 and another heater in 2009. A records search did not show a permit pulled for those jobs, according to Drummond, who began her investigation into the apartments in March 2017.
Roumell argued Drummond read the town codes incorrectly.
“There are certain repairs that need to be done and need to be inspected,” Roumell said, remarking that what he defines as a simple repair would not require a permit.
After more than a year of gathering information, Drummond was ready to prove her case.
Then she got her chance.
A December 2017 meeting was set between town attorneys Craig Silva and Amy Iberlin with Drummond, Roumell and Frank. Drummond told Silva and Iberlin about her problems with Roumell’s company, how time after time, he refused to pull permits.
The meeting was tabled after lengthy arguments, to be resumed in January 2018.
“I believe that those of us with elected support in our positions ought to lead the way in following the rules,” Frank said. “It has been my belief from the beginning that our council members and me as well should be treated the same way under the law as anyone else should.”
Drummond wanted the attorneys to force Roumell to take his master plumber’s test again, a request they said they lacked authority to approve.
“I just said, ‘He needs to lose his license for a year,’” Drummond said.
She said she felt discouraged, tired and frustrated after the 2018 meeting and wrote out the first two citations to Roumell.
He pleaded guilty and paid both $750 fines.
Roumell said last week that he didn’t want to drag anything out by fighting the tickets.
Things stayed quiet for the next month. Drummond regularly checked on Roumell’s work to see if he was following protocol.
After the first two citations, she visited a job site where Roumell had worked in March and allegedly discovered that he had again failed to pull a permit. That led her to issue a third citation to Roumell – about a month before she resigned and moved to Denver.
On May 16, Roumell was in municipal court pleading not guilty, a day after vowing to fight the citation and save his license.
Roumell’s trial is set for Aug. 10.
Since the third citation was issued, Roumell has pulled seven permits from the town, according to Public Works Director Randy Rumpler, who is overseeing code enforcement while the town searches for two people to replace Drummond – one for code compliance and one for community development.
As of press time, Silva and Trails Apartment Manager Sharon Kemp had not responded to the Independent’s request for comment.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Subscriber Login