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Sheriff’s detective won’t be prosecuted in anonymous threat sent to deputy prosecutor

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Aug. 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
August 23, 2011 12:10 pm

A spokeswoman for the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said today her agency would not file criminal charges against a Pierce County sheriff’s detective who was investigated for allegedly sending a death threat to a local deputy prosecutor.

Kitsap County deputy prosecutor Ione George said her office reviewed the investigation against detective Glenda Nissen and decided not to file charges. She declined to elaborate.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist asked Kitsap County to review the case so his office could avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest Lindquist’s chief criminal deputy, Mary Robnett, was the target of the threatening letter.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department conducted the criminal investigation.

We’ve got calls out the Nissen’s attorney, Lindquist and sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer, seeking their comments on the decision.

Nissen became a suspect in part because of an email she sent to News Tribune publisher David Zeeck shortly after midnight on June 7, 2010, from her county email address.

In the email, Nissen accused Lindquist of corruption and exploiting the 2009 slayings of four Lakewood police officers for political gain. Nissen sent a second email to Zeeck at 3:50 a.m., asking him to disregard her earlier statements. The email was never published.

The death-threat letter to Robnett was postmarked June 7, 2010, sent from Seattle to Robnett’s home address.

It begins with a misspelled question: “Are you a candidat?”

Eight Internet links follow, all leading to stories about prosecutors around the country who were shot or killed. The letter closes with another statement packed with misspellings:

“Yur decisions regardening my friend cannot be xcused. Yu were nawty, and yu deserve a similar fate as those abuve. Yu went two farr.”

Robnett said the letter was the first and only death threat she has received as a prosecutor. She forwarded it to sheriff’s detectives for review.

Records show sheriff’s detectives later learned of the emails Nissen had sent to Zeeck. Noting the proximity of the emails and the postmarked letter to Robnett, they zeroed in on Nissen and relayed the information about her possible involvement to Robnett.

Lindquist later banned Nissen from his offices, saying he was looking out for the safety of Robnett.

That prompted Nissen to file a $2.5 million claim for damages against the county. The detective contended Lindquist’s actions were retaliation for her opposition to his candidacy for prosecutor.

Nissen and the county settled the claim last month.

The county agreed to pay $39,500 to Nissen’s lawyers to cover legal fees and the cost of hiring a mediator. Nissen did not get any money.

Lindquist also agreed to lift Nissen’s ban from his offices as part of the settlement.

Nissen agreed to release the county from “all claims of any nature … arising out of the underlying events,” the settlement agreement states.

Information from The News Tribune archives was included in this report.

 

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