Odd Fellows developer gets jail time in ‘cockamamie scheme’ to poison trees

The developer who helped usher in a new era of Pike/Pine development with the overhaul of Capitol Hill’s Odd Fellows Building received a 45-day jail sentence this week after pleading guilty to a charge of second-degree malicious mischief in a “cockamamie” caper involving Lake Chelan views, 123 poplar trees, and 81 bags of arbor-cidal salt.

Despite the plea deal, Ted Schroth, now 47, received a stiff penalty from Chelan County Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan who added 30 days to the 15 days sought by prosecutors, The Wenatchee World reports:

He is free until Jan. 4, when he must turn himself in to the Chelan County Regional Justice Center. He may serve the time on work release and, with good behavior and a day already served at his arrest, will likely be jailed for about 30 days.

Schroth will also be required to pay $156,000 in restitution to the owners of Whiskey Ranch, the neighboring housing development where the poisoned trees were located. Schroth’s lawyer requested he serve community service in lieu of jail time but the judge wasn’t buying it. “I think that is going to be a more appropriate message, Mr. Schroth, to our community, about the way we view your actions,” she said, calling the attempt a “cockamamie scheme” in the process.

CHS reported on Schroth’s 2014 attempted mass tree murder earlier this year when the Bellevue-based developer was accused of pouring 81 bags of salt around the bases of 123 trees neighboring The Lookout, Schroth’s Chelan-located “lakeside village.” Police said evidence left at the scene and video surveillance from the local Wal-Mart proved Schroth was an attempted tree murderer:

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On Capitol Hill, the Eastside residing Schroth is best known as the landlord at the Odd Fellows building at 10th and Pine. He and wife Tricia Schroth acquired the property for $8.5 million in 2007. CHS wrote here about the transformation of Odd Fellows from a neglected but well-used home for arts groups and performance spaces.

UPDATE 12/15/15: We were sent a statement from Lisa Pugh, one of the owners of Whiskey Ranch, on the outcome of the case:

Our family has a long history in Chelan dating back more than 45 years and we’re proud to be part of this great community. We’re grateful to have the criminal portion of Mr. Schroth’s unfortunate actions behind us. We believe the judge’s sentencing in this case was just and appropriate. We would like to thank Judge Allan, the Chelan County Sheriff and the prosecuting attorney’s office for their professional, diligent work and follow through.

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7 thoughts on “Odd Fellows developer gets jail time in ‘cockamamie scheme’ to poison trees

  1. It’s nice to know that, occasionally, an arrogant and rich person (some of whom think they can do whatever they damn well please), is held accountable.

  2. ON one hand, I think taking his freedom away for a while is perfectly just. ON the other, community service (for much longer than 45 days) seems a more fitting punishment, especially if he was required to do environmental clean-up work. I’m thinking something nice and messy would have done just fine!

    Also, WTF was he attacking trees, and other people’s property, for anyway? Malicious crime or juvenile prank? Either way, again, WTF!