Debbie Custis Affidavit, Abused by Marty Warner, Independence, Oregon, Hewlett-Packard

AFFIDAVIT by Debbie Custis - POLK COUNTY COURT - 2003

Debbie Custis was abused by Mr. Marty Warner - my ex husband at Hewlett Packard, Corvallis, Oregon

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR THE COUNTY OF POLK Kathryn Y. Warner, Case No. 95P-20693

I, Debbie J. Custis, being first duly sworn, depose and say that:

  • The eighteen months that I worked with and for Mr. Marty Warner were the most distressing years mentally and emotionally I've ever experienced in the workplace or plan to ever experience again.

  • I was not personally acquainted with Kathy Warner (aka, Coral Theill) until the latter part of 1995 or the beginning of 1996, although I thought about her and wondered what kind of life she had, because, I felt in my heart if Marty could say and do the things he did to me in the workplace and get away with it, life for Kathy Warner had to be terrible. As time went on, Mr. Warner would single me out to talk about Mrs. Warner and it was not a comfortable situation. Marty made it well known to at the very least, his staff, that (in his words) his wife was having severe mental and emotional problems. I was told Kathy had suffered a miscarriage, needed to have a D &C she felt responsible for the miscarriage because of her severe emotional distress. A very short time later, our group and others were shocked when Marty told us Kathy was expecting another child.

  • Over the course of a few months, Marty told me he felt Kathy wasn't being obedient to God and needed to pray more. She also needed to listen to the members of the church who were trying to minister to her. He told our group when he felt forced to put his wife in a hospital somewhere and she'd run away. I felt sick inside every time he tried to talk to me because of the instances I've described below. By this time, I was suffering emotionally and mentally from just working with him daily and it made me so sad to think of her anguish.

  • I was employed at Hewlett Packard from September 1991 to June 2003. I spent my first nineteen months with them working as a Flex-Force (temporary) employee as an Ultra Pure Water/Waste-Treatment technician. Marty Warner became our Supervisor during the last couple of months I was Flex-Force employee.

  • In April 1993, two full-time Ultra-Pure Water jobs became available. I was offered one position and the other went to someone outside the Hewlett Packard employee pool. The gentleman who was hired had no prior Ultra-Pure Water experience. A couple of days before our new employee arrived, Mr. Warner came to me and I was told, I would be training the new employee. He also informed that he was starting us at the same rate of pay. At that time, I told Mr. Warner I felt that was unfair as I had an Associate degree in the Water/Wastewater field, was State Certified and that I had already worked in the same capacity as the existing HP Technicians at a much lower rate of pay for the past nineteen months. Mr. Warner replied: "Unfortunately, some people feel they have more value to HP than they actually do". That day was the real beginning of eighteen months working for and with a man who undermined my decisions and harassed me based on his gender bias.

  • I didn't start documenting issues and conversations with Mr. Warner until September 1993. Several co-workers and my husband had advised me to document what was happening but at that time I was still hoping Mr. Warner would accept me based on my job performance and not my gender. Unfortunately, that never happened.

  • In September, Mr. Warner and I met to discuss the pay level change for DI water technicians. Mr. Warner wanted to meet outside at one of the picnic tables. Marty asked me if I had any questions or issues and I said, "Yes," I'd like to know why he addressed the majority of questions and comments in Staff and Project meetings to Rich and Tom (we as a group, had noticed this for quite sometime). I also asked Mr. Warner if he was having a problem with me as a female employee. Mr. Warner's response was: If you and Leonard (he didn't know my husband personally) were to come to me and tell me you had decided to stay home and take care of your family, I'd be overjoyed. I asked Mr. Warner if he had problems with my work and he replied "No, I was doing a good job, we all were." Marty began talking about some of the problems he was having at home. I mentioned having some problems with my son, and Mr. Warner replied: "If we don't do what the Lord wants us to do, we bear bad fruit and that your children need you in the home." When I stated that I didn't feel I was being punished because I'd had to work as a single parent part of my children's life and that we were not all fortunate enough to be able to stay home during a child's childhood. Mr. Warner went on to say: "He felt men and women, working closely together weren't always a good thing as it could lead to problems if things weren't going well at home. He said, "You might start taking someone a cup of coffee and then he brings you one" (I'm not sure where he was going with this comment, and as it turned out, Marty Warner was the only man who would ask me to bring him coffee over the next year. I felt this was inappropriate and demeaning) I told Mr. Warner my relationship with my peers and the other guys at HP was a brother/sister friendship, my husband and I had only been married two years and we were very happy.

  • 9/24/03 - I responded to a call for an acid overflow and had to advise some of our fabs to halt the dumping of acid immediately. I also called Mr. Warner to advise him of the situation. Marty wasn't available and I left a voice mail message. Two hours later, Mr. Warner came down and kept asking me, "Do you understand the process Debbie? Do you understand Metering pumps Debbie? Do you understand valves Debbie? I kept telling him yes, I understood, we'd done this several times before. A few minutes later he said, I shouldn't have shut down production, it wasn't necessary. Rich Millimaki, our senior technician, had handled this same problem the week before in exactly the same manner and Mr. Warner hadn't questioned his decision in any way.

  • There are many instances documented of Mr. Warner undermining my decisions and excluding me in conversations that directly related to systems I was in charge of and of Mr. Warner asking my two male peers for opinions and information on systems or assignments that were mine and they knew nothing about. These items may still be documented with the Polk County Court from Mrs. Warner's 1996 hearing. If not, I still have the original documentation.

  • At a staff meeting, Mr. Warner told our Senior Technician to start documenting daily routines and all the work we did and the time that was spent doing it. Rich asked if we were going to hire a fourth person Mr. Warner replied: "You never know, Debbie may quit.

  • At another staff meeting, drug testing for new employees was one of our agenda topics. Tom Sibert asked what they tested for, Marty said; "I don't know, and when I told Tom they test for cocaine, etc. Mr. Warner replied. "Yes, Debbie knows all about it."

  • January 1994. Mr. Warner asked me to meet him in the cafeteria to go over my position plan for the coming year. At that meeting Marty told me he realized he was giving me a year and a half's worth of work to be completed in a year but to do the best I could (Failure to meet the objectives in a position plan directly affect your ranking and pay on your evaluations). Mr. Warner said, He realized I was overwhelmed with projects and work, but when I commented I would need to work until 8:00 p.m. every night and on the weekends to get caught up as it was and that he wouldn't approve overtime, Mr. Warner told me if I wanted to excel at my job, I'd do whatever it took, I wasn't in Junior High or High School anymore where being a "B" student was acceptable. I was at College Level now and being a "B" student wasn't acceptable or enough to excel. Mr. Warner told me if I wanted to excel, I would do whatever it took to get there. I also asked Marty how he could justify my being away from my family for such extended periods of time when he told me that his being away from his family for so many years had caused numerous problems for himself, he just went back to the if you want to excel, you'll do whatever it takes.

  • That I should pray and ask the Lord where I would be happiest, back in a municipality (I was working in one when I came to HP) or at home.

  • That he didn't know if something was going on with me or I was just going through something that day (It was very clear he was insinuating I was having a PMS day).

  • That the feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy I'd began to feel at his treatment were all in my head.

  • I was being cold to him and he knew I could be warm because I'd shown him warmth.

  • I did work the overtime without pay and when someone (I believe, it was my previous supervisor) went to personnel regarding all of the problems I was having with Marty and they realized I'd been working the overtime as an hourly employee without being paid, they asked me to figure out what I was owed. Marty came to me and said, "I need to know how many hours it is you feel we owe you." He was angry and wanted to know what I'd discussed with personnel and why I had betrayed him. Even though I told Marty that personnel said, "I didn't have to meet privately with him again," he didn't stop cornering me when he got a chance. Following are a few additional comments Mr. Warner felt he needed to make.

  • Marty was eventually replaced as the Ultra-Pure Water Supervisor but he remained the System's Engineer for my south site Water systems and the harassment continued. The constant Turmoil and harassment at Mr. Warner's hand impacted every aspect of my personal and professional life. I began to cry easily and frequently, couldn't sleep, began doubting my decisions and had feelings of inadequacy. In August of 1995, I made the decision to apply for a position in a different department to get away from Mr. Warner and the constant stress. My new supervisor gave me written permission to apply for the job. I applied, was interviewed and was told I had the position. Unfortunately, without my knowledge our Department Manager and my supervisor had informed the hiring manager for my new position they couldn't let me go for six months as there was no one to take my place. When I met with both the manager and my supervisor to discuss the decision they had made, I told them both I'd applied for that job because I needed to get away from Marty and the stress. From that point on, my supervisor kept me as insulated from Marty as he could.

  • I was contacted by Mrs. Warner in late 1995 or early 1996. Kathy knew of me because of Marty and what he'd told her about me, but she was also informed by a friend that worked for HP that the problems between her husband and I had escalated to Personnel involvement. She asked me if I would be willing to talk to her attorney and I said, "absolutely".

  • I received a subpoena from Mrs. Warner's attorney to testify on her behalf on February 9, 1996. Unfortunately, her attorney asked just one question that I can remember. He asked, If Mr. Warner was a very controlling person and I replied "Yes.

  • I was allowed in court after my brief time in the witness stand and was appalled and sickened by the past treatment of Mrs. Warner by Mr. Warner, by the questions that were allowed in court and by the treatment of a woman in such a fragile state of mine. There were times I couldn't stand hearing anymore and would go outside the courtroom and walk with baby Zachary.

  • The day Kathy was forced to turn her three youngest children over to Mr. Warner because she had lost custody, I was the one who took the two youngest girls (Rebecca and Hannah) to their father. They cried or screamed the entire trip. It was one of the most gut wrenching things I've ever seen. A longtime friend of Kathy's took six month old Zachary in her car. When we arrived at the Warner home, Marty wanted to know what he should feed Zachary as he was a nursing baby.

I've seen Kathy Warner go through pain and suffering at the hands of Marty Warner, and the court system that would drive most people insane. I've seen her lose everything in this world that could possibly matter to her except her hope that justice would eventually come to her aid. I've seen Mrs. Warner pick herself up time and time again in her attempt to right an extreme wrong. I've read the book she's written in an attempt to help other victims of domestic violence and hopefully explain to her children why she is no longer in their lives.

I've sat back and watched and listened as time after time she's been denied justice and human compassion from the very people who say they are advocates for domestic violence.

I don't know how to help Kathy anymore and fear that she can't hang on much longer. I'm submitting this affidavit in the hopes that the legal system will understand what happened to Mrs. Warner is real, is cruel and continues. I know it's real because I lived through eighteen months of emotional and mental turmoil, fear and doubt in my professional abilities at the hands of the same man that brought his wife to a state of emotional and mental breakdown.

Signed and notorized/copy available

Published in Coral Anika Theill's memoir, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark

www.coralanikatheill.com

Debbie Custis responds to Coral Theill's son-in-law's disparaging comments

Letter by Debbie Custis, July 16, 2007

Coral’s son-in-law, wasn’t in the Warner’s life nor was he in court for the proceedings during the time Kathy (Coral) was being abused by Marty and the court system in Oregon. I was. I also worked with and for Mr. Warner. Trust me, he can “just flip on an internal switch” when he feels it’s necessary to appear to be a well-adjusted, upstanding member of the community. Feel fortunate that you’re not a “woman” and that Mr. Warner feels no need to “control” you!

You didn’t see Coral with her three youngest children, her patience, the love and the bond that was so clearly there for all to see while she was in hiding from her husband, living from hotel to hotel, with no money, and no food, entirely dependent on friends and yes, even some strangers that wanted to help her. It’s easy to be kind, loving, and nurturing during the good times; Coral was all those things during the hard times as well.

You weren’t there during the court proceedings. You didn’t listen to the absolute absence of feeling for his wife and her trauma in his answer when the judge asked “why would you continue to have marital relations with your wife in her current physical and mental condition.” I was there. I was also outside the courtroom walking the baby when I couldn’t stand to hear any more of what he said in court.

You weren’t there when the court decided to take Coral’s children away. You didn’t see a woman sobbing, rocking back and forth consumed with the kind of grief that only another parent could understand and yet, not wholly fathom.

You weren’t there when we picked up the three youngest children and delivered them to Mr. Warner. You didn’t hear the screams and sobbing of the two little girls in the back seat of my car on the trip to Mr. Warner’s. You never had to watch a grief-stricken mother trying to pump painfully engorged breasts because her six-month-old nursing baby had just been wrenched from her.

Tell me something, what had Coral ever done to deserve this? Coral Theill was a warm and loving mother. She was also a good wife. To this day she loves her eight children deeply, even the ones who no longer call her mother. Coral was the sole nurturer, caregiver, and teacher in that family for nearly 20 years. At least half of those wonderful, talented, children you speak of received their foundation from their mom. It saddens and sickens me that all of the wonderful things the children learned from their mother; all of the warm and happy memories that should be Coral’s legacy to these children have been tossed away like yesterday’s garbage. That, sir, is the real tragedy.—Debbie Custis, Salem, Oregon

April 20, 2015, Personal comment by Debbie Custis: " This truly happened to this beautiful, wonderful woman and mother. I can never fully explain to all of you how horrendous this was. Not only did I try to help Coral, her husband was my supervisor at the time and I was battling my own personal hell with Marty Warner in the work place. He was a disgusting, sexist man, who had no business supervising women in any capacity. He tried/did talk to me "privately" about Coral (captive audience) and my heart ached for her. I didn't even know her at the time and I was sickened for her. I only had to deal with him at work, she had to live with him in her own personal prison!! "It's hard for me to revisit in my mind and memories working for him [Marty Warner] . I was stressed, anxious, and depressed all the time. I don't know how Coral has survived his lies, abuse, sick ideologies, losing her children (yes, I delivered the girls into his hands when she lost her court case, and still remember the screaming and crying coming from my back seat when they were pulled away from their mother). I salute you Coral, want nothing but happiness for you, and grew to love you very much. Please Father God, bless this woman!"

*Mr. Marty Warner works at:

City of Monmouth

Public Works Department

401 Hogan Road

Monmouth OR 97361

503.838.2173

Marty Warner, Independence, Oregon Batterers Wife and Children - Affidavits

Marty Warner Abuses Women in the Workplace - Affidavit

ORDER at Amazon: RECLAMATION: A Survivor's Anthology

Complimentary copy of BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark

#METOO Marital Rape & Patriarchy: An Act of Violence

Order at Amazon: BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark

Letter by Debbie Custis, July 16, 2007

Coral’s son-in-law, wasn’t in the Warner’s life nor was he in court for the proceedings during the time Kathy (Coral) was being abused by Marty and the court system in Oregon. I was. I also worked with and for Mr. Warner. Trust me, he can “just flip on an internal switch” when he feels it’s necessary to appear to be a well-adjusted, upstanding member of the community. Feel fortunate that you’re not a “woman” and that Mr. Warner feels no need to “control” you! *See Affidavit written by Debbie Custis in 2003 describing the abuse she suffered from Marty Warner in the workplace.

You didn’t see Coral with her three youngest children, her patience, the love and the bond that was so clearly there for all to see while she was in hiding from her husband, living from hotel to hotel, with no money, and no food, entirely dependent on friends and yes, even some strangers that wanted to help her. It’s easy to be kind, loving, and nurturing during the good times; Coral was all those things during the hard times as well.

You weren’t there during the court proceedings. You didn’t listen to the absolute absence of feeling for his wife and her trauma in his answer when the judge asked “why would you continue to have marital relations with your wife in her current physical and mental condition.” I was there. I was also outside the courtroom walking the baby when I couldn’t stand to hear any more of what he said in court.

You weren’t there when the court decided to take Coral’s children away. You didn’t see a woman sobbing, rocking back and forth consumed with the kind of grief that only another parent could understand and yet, not wholly fathom. You weren’t there when we picked up the three youngest children and delivered them to Mr. Warner. You didn’t hear the screams and sobbing of the two little girls in the back seat of my car on the trip to Mr. Warner’s. You never had to watch a grief-stricken mother trying to pump painfully engorged breasts because her six-month-old nursing baby had just been wrenched from her. Tell me something, what had Coral ever done to deserve this? Coral Theill was a warm and loving mother. She was also a good wife. To this day she loves her eight children deeply, even the ones who no longer call her mother. Coral was the sole nurturer, caregiver, and teacher in that family for nearly 20 years. At least half of those wonderful, talented, children you speak of received their foundation from their mom. It saddens and sickens me that all of the wonderful things the children learned from their mother; all of the warm and happy memories that should be Coral’s legacy to these children have been tossed away like yesterday’s garbage. That, sir, is the real tragedy.—Debbie Custis, Salem, Oregon

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