If Alberto Ugas isn’t regretting his decision to go up against Mark Lindquist on KOMO radio this morning, he should be.
Ugas – the Pierce County deputy assessor-treasurer who just filed a recall against Lindquist, the county’s prosecuting attorney, for allegedly obstructing justice – was a guest on John Carlson’s show this morning.
Ugas and his boss, Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam, come off as batty in print. But on the radio, when followed by a guy who makes a living winning over juries? Not Ugas’ smartest move.
Carlson quizzed Ugas, asking why it’s Lindquist in his sights when 1) Lindquist’s predecessor, Gerry Horne, also declined to pursue criminal charges for what Ugas and Washam claim was criminal conduct by the former assessor-treasurer, Ken Madsen, and 2) the prosecutor’s office doesn’t launch criminal investigations, it reviews them.
Carlson also asked Ugas whether he was pursuing the recall in his official county capacity or as a private citizen. Ugas said he was doing it as a private citizen, because “we” understand the need to not mix public duties with private initiatives. Ugas offered that he was taking a vacation day to call into the show.
Carlson then says, “So you’re calling me from home?” Long pause. No, Ugas replied, I’m calling you from the office – an admission that led Carlson to dub Alberto Ugas the only man he knows who takes a vacation day at the office. At that point, Lindquist came on the show and, with his job half done for him, proceeded to sew up his case that the recall effort is nothing more than a political stunt.
Carlson’s outrage meter never seemed to register. He ended the spot by thanking Lindquist and giving a “I think we’re done here.”
Here’s something that should be investigated: How much public money, county resources and employee morale has been squandered on Washam’s and his deputy’s pursuit of an old vendetta? It’s a running tab that now includes one phone call with a Seattle radio station.
By the way, Washington law states, “No elective official nor any employee of his [or her] office nor any person appointed to or employed by any public office or agency may use or authorize the use of any of the facilities of a public office or agency, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of any person to any office or for the promotion of or opposition to any ballot proposition.” Ballot proposition is defined to include a recall.