Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Alberto Ugas

Nov.
15th

A morally neutered lesser man – that would be me

Those of you who followed Sean Robinson’s engrossing account of Dale Washam’s strange career may be interested in this exchange I had a year ago with his chief deputy, Alberto Ugas.

Background: Teamsters Local Union 117 had produced a rather convincing account of harassment in the assessor-treasurer’s office, and I wrote an editorial raising concern about the liability he was creating for the public.

Ugas wrote a letter he expected us to publish. We didn’t publish it then and I won’t include it here because it rather blatantly accused Sally Barnes – an administrator in the office – of criminality. Call someone a criminal and you had best be able to back up the accusation in court, as I pointed out below.

Read the exchange from the bottom up. It gets interesting, I promise. It begins, far below, with the Oct. 7, 2009, editorial.
Read more »

Oct.
23rd

Recall drives Washam’s crusade over the edge of sanity

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Alberto Ugas insists the recall was all his idea.

His boss, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam, did not put him up to taking on Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. Nope, Ugas is acting purely as a private citizen in calling for Lindquist’s ouster from office.

A private citizen, that is, with enough passion for proper property assessment procedures to compile a 624-page petition accusing a public official of lacking the same fervor.

Uh-huh. Ugas and Washam must take Pierce County voters for fools if they believe they can pass off a recall as anything but the latest attempt to advance Washam’s age-old grudge against his predecessor.

Read more »

Oct.
22nd

Not the assessor-treasurer office’s finest half hour

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.

Read more »