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Tag: Mark Lindquist


Restrictions sought for child-porn access

Pierce County made national headlines last year when a convicted child pornographer was allowed to watch videos depicting child sex while in jail preparing for his next trial.

The situation could have been worse, county Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says: If Weldon Marc Gilbert had been out on bail, he could have taken copies of the videos home.

“That’s just completely wrong,” Lindquist said.

Prosecutors want more restrictions on the copying and dissemination of child pornography as part of criminal cases. They call for containing it to a police evidence room or other secure spot where defense attorneys and their

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Deputy Assessor-Treasurer Ugas could be liable for legal bills in bid to recall Prosecutor Lindquist, county attorney says

An effort by Pierce County Deputy Assessor-Treasurer Alberto Ugas and another Pierce County resident to recall Prosecutor Mark Lindquist could cost the pair a lot of money in legal fees.

Lindquist says the recall is frivolous and believes it’s an attempt to influence the Nov. 2 General Election in which Lindquist is opposed by attorney Bertha Fitzer, who formerly worked in the prosecutor’s office.

When I asked Pierce County Communications Director Hunter George who would represent Lindquist and pay the legal bills in this case, I got this reply by e-mail from Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor Douglas Vanscoy, who works for Lindquist.

“The County, including the Prosecutor’s Office, is precluded by law from supporting or opposing any recall or other ballot measure. The lone exception to that rule is a statute, RCW 4.96.041(3), permitting a county or other local government to pay the reasonable litigation expenses, including private counsel, incurred by the subject of a recall. The County may not be asked to pay for such expenses related to this particular recall, however. The state Supreme Court held in 1998 that courts are not “powerless to respond to intentionally frivolous recall petitions brought for the purpose of harassment. Attorney fees may be awarded against a petitioner who brings a recall petition in bad faith.”

Ugas could not be reached for comment this morning. He and Lake Tapps resident Dan Fishburn filed the recall petition against Lindquist last week, claiming Lindquist has failed to uphold the law by refusing to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by previous Assessor-Treasurer Ken Madsen and his staff.

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Washam’s deputy files recall petition against Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, claiming Lindquist is obstructing justice

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist won’t go after former Assessor-Treasurer Ken Madsen for allegedly falsifying county tax records, Deputy Assessor-Treasurer Alberto Ugas says.

So Ugas, in his status as a private citizen, is going after Lindquist.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist

Ugas and Dan Fishburn, a local general contractor, launched a recall drive against Lindquist this week.

The six-page “Citizens Recall Petition” is accompanied by 624 pages of assertions, documents and exhibits that Ugas says proves the case that Lindquist should be recalled, Ugas told me last night.

Ugas and Fishburn claim Lindquist obstructed justice by actively discouraging police agencies from investigating claims of wrongdoing in the office of former Assessor-Treasurer Ken Madsen.

Lindquist, who was appointed prosecutor last year, is seeking election to a four year term. One of his former prosecutors, Bertha Fitzer, is opposing him in the Nov. 2 general election.

He discounts the petition as frivolous and says he’s done his job to the absolute letter of the law.

“Both the sheriff and I take seriously any allegations of criminal conduct,” Lindquist told me this afternoon. ” I’m confident that the sheriff’s office will look at this (the allegations of illegal activity  in Madsen’s office)  and after the sheriff’s office looks at it, they will discuss it with us.”

“We have not advised the sheriff’s office or anyone else not to investigate this,” Lindquist said. “That’s absurd.”

The recall petition appears to be the latest salvo in a barrage of complaints, letters and public pleas from the office of Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam to investigate alleged wrongdoing by former Assessor-Treasurer Ken Madsen.

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Lindquist to hold campaign kick-off

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is launching his campaign with a kick-off event on Saturday. Lindquist, who was the office’s chief criminal deputy, is trying to win election to the post after being appointed to replace retiring prosecutor Gerry Horne last year.

“I am committed to leading a professional, non-partisan office that serves the people of our community well,” Lindquist said in a press release.

Lindquist’s event at the old Heidelberg Brewery will feature remarks from notable supporters, including Sheriff Paul Pastor, Congressman Adam Smith, Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson. He also promises entertainment from “popular local band The Beatniks and unnamed musical guest stars, including a member of a nationally known multi-platinum band.” (We won’t give away the surprise here, but he’s from Seattle, plays the guitar and his name rhymes with “Eater Yuk.”)

Lindquist faces a challenge from one of his office’s own employees, Pierce County deputy prosecutor Bertha Fitzer.

See the full press release below.

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Pierce County prosecutor won’t pursue Washam’s claims

Update: See comments from Dale Washam below.

Note: This is the first of several updates I’ll be posting today on issues in the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office.

Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam has again asked the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to investigate allegations related to property inspections that were not done in recent years.

But it looks like he’ll get the same answer he got before: no.

Washam announced last March that, under his predecessor, the office had failed to conduct thousands of property inspections required by state law. In a detailed report on the matter, he claims employees falsified inspection records and submitted false state and county reports to cover up the skipped inspections.

The assessor has asked everyone from Gov. Chris Gregoire to Pierce County Prosecutor Gerry Horne to investigate. He’s had no luck getting anyone to pursue the matter.

Horne told Washam last year the matter did not warrant investigation. The prosecutor noted that Washam’s accusations failed to pass legal muster when they were raised in a recall petition against Madsen in 2005.

But Washam hasn’t given up. This week he asked Horne’s successor, Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist, to investigate allegations that office employees violated state and federal laws.

“Mr. Lindquist, taxpayers need your help to get the needed full investigation into the alleged fraud, forgery, conspiracy and violation of public law that has allegedly taken place in the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s office …” Washam wrote (you can download the letter here or at Washam’s web site).

Lindquist told me Thursday he will not oblige Washam’s request.

The prosecutor echoed Horne’s reasoning: he said Washam did not meet the burden of proof when he raised the allegations in the 2005 recall petition, a civil matter. Lindquist said the burden of proof in criminal cases is even higher.

“We’ve got real business to do in this office,” Lindquist said. “I don’t have time to get pulled into what appears to be politics.”

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Lindquist: Tone down the rhetoric in Superior Court dispute

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist read my earlier post on a year of political skirmishes in county government. He was struck by a quote from Judge James Orlando, who scolded the County Council last month for its decision to eliminate a Superior Court seat. Orlando said he hadn’t “seen such a blatantly illegal act in my 25 years in practice.”

“Really?” Lindquist told me in a telephone interview this morning. “(What about) murder? Rape?”

The prosecutor’s point: “I don’t think hyperbole fosters good working relationships.”

He noted his own deputy used much more moderate language in challenging the

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Who wouldn’t want to be Mark Lindquist?

In case you missed it, check out Matt Driscoll’s profile of Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist in the lastest Weekly Volcano.

“Rock fan. Novelist. Screenwriter. Dreamboat. Lawyer and prosecutor. Mark Lindquist is a character fit for one of his own books,” Driscoll writes.

Driscoll recounts Lindquist’s rise to literary stardom and gets to hang with a guy who drinks with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, reviews the latest Nick Hornby novel and has a letter from Kurt Vonnegut hanging in his living room. Reading the story, you wonder who wouldn’t want to be Mark Lindquist. Hell, I’d settle for being

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