Mars Hill RICO: My Correspondence with Plaintiffs

On February 29th, 2015, I was named in a Civil RICO lawsuit brought by Plaintiffs Brian and Connie Jacobsen and Ryan and Arica Kildea.  The Plaintiffs filed a 42-page complaint containing false accusations and incomplete information.  The Plaintiffs did not attest under oath to the statements made in the complaint.  Ultimately, the Plaintiffs never served me with the lawsuit and now are requesting the presiding judge dismiss the complaint without prejudice.

In June 2015 (seven months prior to the lawsuit), I had good communications with Rob Smith who I thought was leading the RICO efforts.  I believed the lines of communication were open and easily accessible. When the lawsuit was filed, I did not have an attorney.  Before hiring an attorney I reached out to the plaintiffs to meet them and address their issues.  I wrote about this in a blog on March 14, 2016.

On March 6th, 2016, I sent a letter to both the Jacobsens and Kildeas asking to meet with them.  I did not plan on releasing that communication, but since they included excerpts from it in their responses to the court, I will disclose the full communication here.  The three main quotes are:

  • I would love the opportunity to apologize to you both, the Jacobsons and Kildeas, in person. I will fly back at my expense to Seattle and mutually agree to have a meeting with someone like Jeff Bettger to help us move through the reconciliation.
  • I would also like to offer to you, the Jacobsons and Kildeas, to personally send funds to Ethiopia in the equivalent of whatever money you donated to Mars Hill Global while I was associated with Mars Hill Church (2011 – 2014). I would personally pay for this Ethiopian donation (as from my understanding Mars Hill Church does not legally exist anymore) and my heart for Ethiopia has only grown.
  • My hope is to reach out to you in a personal letter to resolve the issue you have specifically with me. The Mars Hill attorneys do not know I am reaching out to you. I have not personally hired counsel yet as I would like to resolve this with you before more attorneys are involved.

The Plaintiffs have previously stated they wanted information about Mars Hill Church.  I was willing to meet with them and discuss whatever they wanted.  They refused to meet with me or even respond to my request.

The Plaintiffs have also previously stated they wanted reconciliation, but when given the opportunity, they declined to meet with me.

The Plaintiffs stated they wanted their donations back ($92k) because they felt misled by Mars Hill Church.  I offered to send donations to Ethiopia equal to the amount they may have given to Mars Hill Global while I was on staff at Mars Hill, but they did not respond to that offer.

Despite statements to the contrary, the Plaintiffs did not want to meet with me, did not want information about Mars Hill Church, did not want reconciliation, and did not want any of their prior Mars Hill Global donations sent to Ethiopia.   Then, what was their purpose of naming me in their lawsuit?

— Sutton Turner