Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam filed today for re-election.
Washam decided to run for a second, four-year term, despite a no confidence vote in him by the County Council, an ethics violation committed by him and numerous legal settlements for claims from current and former employees in his office.
Four other candidates form a crowded field, including Billie O’Brien, the administrative manager of the assessor-treasurer’s office.
The other candidates are Pierce County Councilman Tim Farrell and former Tacoma Councilmen Spiro Manthou and Mike Lonergan.
The top-two vote-getters in the Aug. 7 primary will face off in November.
In response to The News Tribune asking why he is running for re-election, Washam wrote: “From the very beginning, I made a commitment to serve as an honest advocate for all Pierce County citizens.
“In the past four years, we have made great strides improving the operational aspects of the Assessor-Treasurer office, doing so on a significantly reduced budget,” Washam said. “I have kept my word, and will continue to be an assessor-treasurer who will stand strong to protect the rights of my employers, the Pierce County taxpayers.”
The Pierce County Ethics Commission ruled last month that Washam used public resources for campaign purposes in an effort to unseat county Prosecutor Mark Lindquist in 2010. The commission fined Washam $500.
County leaders have settled various claims for damages filed by current and former Washam employees, paying out a total of $1.13 million. In March, County Council members passed a resolution that declared they had no confidence in Washam and asked him to resign.
A recall campaign against Washam narrowly missed reaching the ballot last summer. Multiple county and federal investigations have concluded that Washam retaliated against employees who complained about his behavior. One investigation is still active: a probe by the U.S. Department of Justice into possible civil-rights violations at Washam’s office.