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Sirens & Gavels

Tue., Feb. 16, 2010, 3:35 p.m.

Malone to run for Spokane Co. prosecutor

By Thomas Clouse

A Democrat is joining the race for Spokane County prosecutor.

cklLongtime local attorney Frank Malone confirmed his bid to challenge Prosecutor Steve Tucker today. Meanwhile, Tucker , who is scheduled to meet Wednesday with Deputy Prosecutor David Stevens, whom Tucker suspended earlier this month after Stevens announced his own bid to run for prosecutor.

“We are going to consider options,” Tucker said last week.

Stevens said he doesn’t know what will happen with his job status. He’s been a deputy prosecutor since 2002 and said he makes $86,000 a year.

“I wonder how much this week has cost. I’ve been paid a week to stay home and it’s not my vacation time,” Stevens said last week.

The flap began two weeks ago after Stevens announced his candidacy by criticizing Tucker’s leadership, calling and referred to him as an “absent administrator.”

Tucker questioned why the public should pay continue paying someone to run against his boss and wrote to Stevens that he “violated behavioral standards by not effectively communicating with other county employees and not getting along with other co-workers and managers.”

Malone did not blatantly echo follow Stevens’ “absent administrator” comment, lead as calling Tucker an “absent administrator” but he did allude to Tucker’s lack of public presence.

 “I like his management team,” Malone said of Tucker. “But I would be coordinating with other county officials. I would be out in the community. The community loves (Sheriff) Ozzie Knezovich because he’s out there all over the place. That’s what you do to get public support.”

 Malone, 67, has been an attorney since 1985. The graduate of Gonzaga University School of Law also served 27 years in both the Air Force and Air National Guard. During his career, Malone served as a navigator in both B-52 bombers and later the KC-135 tankers during the Vietnam and Desert Storm wars, he said.

Malone makes the third candidate in a race in which the filing deadline does not expire until June 11.

“A couple of months ago, I was hanging around the courthouse and there was considerable dissatisfaction with how the criminal justice system, which is 80 percent of the budget, was working,” Malone said. “It occurred to me that there might be some support for someone with management experience and with the toughness to handle the problems at the courthouse.”

Malone currently practices both criminal defense and family law, and most recently has been working to help distressed homeowners caught in the housing crisis, he said.

 The two candidates with the most votes in the Aug. 17 primary, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the November general election.

 Tucker defeated incumbent James Sweetser in 1998 and then ran unopposed in 2002 election. In 2006, Tucker defeated challenger Bob Caruso, who ran as a Democrat but was not endorsed by the local party.

 Malone said he will seek his party’s nomination.

 Amy Biviano, the chairwoman of Spokane County Democrats, said she’s thrilled that Malone has chosen to challenge Tucker.

 “I know he’s a great guy," Biviano said. "He has a lot of experience and would be a very qualified candidate.,

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