Why I’m not doing Ignite Bridgetown

On January 27th, 2014, I received a manila envelope with a rough, hand-written note in Sharpie saying “Personal and Confidential for Scott Kveton only” that was hand delivered to the front desk at Urban Airship. When I pulled out the inkjet-printed, papyrus-paper page demanding a $1.5M cashiers check to be delivered in 7 days to my accusers’ attorney to settle her “claim quickly and in confidence,” I was in utter shock. I did not deliver that check.

As my public filing in the civil case makes clear, I absolutely deny the accusations against me, and I expect to be fully and completely vindicated when the case runs its course. I’m looking forward to when I can tell my story. This same individual and her attorney asserted criminal charges against me a month later in both Washington and Multnomah Counties. The Washington County District Attorney formally declined to prosecute, and in Multnomah County, the Grand Jury returned a Not True Bill.

Long-term relationships are hard. One of the hardest parts is trusting someone enough to share private parts of yourself. Parts you’d prefer weren’t published on the front page of the newspaper. While my accuser has been working closely with the press to try this case in the papers, I have chosen to respect the legal system and her privacy by playing by the rules and keeping silent.

You might ask, why haven’t you said anything before all of this? The truth is, I can’t. When you’re going through legal proceedings like this you have to respect the system. This is really tough to do in the social post-everything-we-see-eat-meet-and-do culture that we all live in. Even more than that, this same social culture will definitely act as judge-and-jury while only having one side of the story. At a time when I desperately want to share my perspective, I have to stay silent.

I let you down Portland and for that I am deeply sorry. It’s hard not to talk about the personal angst when going through something like this but ultimately my biggest regret has been the impact on the Portland tech scene and the ripples caused by these accusations. I want to apologize to the employees and families of Urban Airship, to the companies I have mentored and my friends and colleagues in the industry that put so much trust and faith in me. One person’s personal relationship should not be able to create so much grief and uncertainty for so many others. The already difficult issues of gender inequality and the “brogrammer” culture in tech companies were only amplified with these accusations. It also tarnished the reputation of the burgeoning tech scene here in Portland. Watching my story help catalyze discussions on these tough issues in the workplace has been gratifying, though painful. Mainly because I always considered myself an ally in those discussions and someone who has joined these efforts in the past.

Over the last 6 months I’ve moved on with my life. I got engaged to an amazing woman who has stuck with me through all of this. Our kids are doing so well and my fiancé, their mother and I are having a blast raising them.

DM from Cami Kaos about doing an Ignite Bridgetown talk this week.

So when Cami Kaos DM’d me on Twitter over the weekend asking if I would come to Ignite Bridgetown and speak on the marijuana industry I was excited. It’s been a tough year and I was looking forward to sharing my perspectives and thoughts on this emerging market. After I tweeted that I was going to be there a few people reached out to Cami and myself expressing concern that I hadn’t addressed my personal issues publicly; almost like I was trying to pretend nothing happened this past summer. I’m looking forward to when I can tell my story. I knew I had to say at least something.

I decided to back out out of respect for this community and to not put Cami, Rick, Aaron and the other speakers in a uncomfortable position.

The toughest thing you have to do is decide whether you will let me rebuild the trust and relationships I’ve forged with many of you over the last 8+ years. For me, I have to deal with this every single day until it’s finished. I hope I can earn that trust and continue giving back to this community I love so much.