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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: elections

Felon ineligible for Kootenai Co. sheriff

A candidate for Kootenai County sheriff who shot a man in downtown Coeur d'Alene in 2009 and later pleaded guilty to a felony heroin charge is not eligible for the position, officials say.

 Adam Mathis Johnson, 27, cannot hold office because he's on probation for two years after pleading guilty to a felony controlled substance charge, Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said Thursday.

Johnson will get his rights restored once he completed a two-year probation term. Until then, he's also restricted from carrying firearms.

Johnson was arrested on drug charges in Post Falls in April.  He was arrested on an attempted murder charge in December 2009 after  a shooting in downtown Coeur d’Alene that a grand jury ruled was self defense. Johnson's victim is suing his own civil lawyer for malpractice.

Johnson was featured in The Spokesman-Review a weekend before the shooting in a story about the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.. He was also featured in 2007 in a story about his business, Convertec.

Judge Leveque to retire at end of year

In this 2003 photo, Jerome Leveque shares a laugh during an announcement by hen-Gov. Gary Locke, right, that Leveque and private defense attorney Maryann Moreno, center, were the new Superior Court judges Friday. (SRfilephoto)

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque will retire when his terms ends at the end of this year.

The judge announced his retirement to his colleagues Thursday.

Leveque, 70, of Butte, Mont., has been serving as judge since he was appointed by former Gov. Gary Locke in 2003.

Because Leveque intends to serve out the remaining time of his term, Gov. Chris Gregoire will not have to conduct a search and appoint a replacement.

“It will be an open election,” Judge Ellen Kalama Clark said, meaning that voters will choose a new judge without an incumbent on the ballot.

Charge: Man voted twice in ‘08 election

A Stevens County man has been charged with a felony after investigators say he voted twice in the 2008 election.

Handwriting experts believe Alan Dennis Christensen, 34, filled out paperwork allowing him to vote in Stevens County and in Oregon, according to documents filed in Stevens County Superior Court.

Voter records show Christensen, of Nine Mile Falls, voted by mail in Oregon Sept. 22, then in Washington Sept. 30. Christensen is charged with making a false declaration as to qualifications as a voter, a class C felony.

“It’s certainly not very common,” Deputy Prosecutor Matt Enzler said of the charge.

Voting more than once also is a class C felony; Enzler said making a false declaration is easier to prove.

“It’s all based on signatures and document as opposed to showing that he actually did vote,” Enzler said. “We have the fact that he signed documents in an election in two separate counties.”

Christensen is to be arraigned July 13.

Tucker: ‘It was a management decision’

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker said he gave Stevens a choice of unpaid leave until after the August primary or termination.

Stevens chose the latter.

“It was a management decision,” Tucker told S-R reporter Tom Clouse. “To work effectively, we have to have a unified team. Unfortunately, when (Stevens) decided to run, he went back during work time and started making statements about who he would fire and about replacing the entire management team. “

“The phone was ringing off the hook,” Tucker said of other deputy prosecutors who feared for their job security. “The environment go so bad it was hard for us to serve the public in the property-drug unit.”

Tucker fires election opponent

By Thomas Clouse

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker fired today the deputy prosecutor who announced earlier this month his intention to challenge Tucker in the August primary.

Tucker (right) fired Deputy Prosecutor David Stevens after a meeting this morning. Stevens, who announced his firing by a campaign e-mail, had previously referred to Tucker as an “absent administrator.”

“This appalling outcome simply reinforces why so many in our community are frustrate with the prosecutor’s office,” Stevens (bottom left) said in a news release. “This poor decision isn’t going to deter or alter our campaign in any way. I plan to continue focusing on Spokane County’s important issues and availing myself to be out listening to the public’s concerns at every possible opportunity.” 

Also today, local attorney Frank Malone will announce his bid to unseat Tucker, who beat James Sweetser in 1998, ran unopposed in 2002 and defeated Bob Caruso in the 2006 election.

As for Stevens, who like Tucker is a Republican, he said he will follow through with his union’s grievance process and hopes to be reinstated to the job that pays him $86,000 a year.

Past coverage:

Democrat joins prosecutor race

Deputy prosecutor vying for boss’s job put on paid leave

Stevens will challenge Tucker for Spokane County prosecutor

Tucker puts Stevens on leave

A Spokane County deputy prosecutor who announced this week that he’s running for his boss’ job has been placed on paid leave and faces possible discipline.

Prosecutor Steve Tucker said his complaints against David Stevens are “obviously” connected to Stevens’ decision to challenge him in the August primary, but he declined to specify further, citing contract rules.

Stevens has until Wednesday to respond to a letter sent to him today by Tucker.

Stevens declined to release a copy of the letter but said Tucker wrote in it that Stevens had “violated behavioral standards by not effectively communicating with other county employees and not getting along with other coworkers and managers.”

The move comes one day after Stevens announced his candidacy and blasted Tucker’s leadership in the Prosecutor’s Office, calling him an “absent administrator.”

Tucker questioned Thursday why “the public should be paying somebody to run against his boss” and noted that he resigned as a deputy prosecutor before challenging the incumbent, Jim Sweetser, in 1998.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage: Tucker deputy wants top job

Stevens challenging Tucker for prosecutor

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Dave Stevens has announced that he’ll challenge his boss, Prosecutor Steve Tucker, in the August primary.

Both Tucker (right) and Stevens (left) are Republicans, and the battle is off to a tough start.

“Until I came here, I’ve never seen a total lack of leadership,” Stevens said in an interview today with Spokesman-Review reporter Jonathan Brunt. “There needs to be a determined leader, not an absent administrator.”

Tucker told me yesterday afternoon that he is running for reelection.

Brunt has more on the race at the Spin Control blog.

Stevens’ campaign manager is Michael Cathcart, who was removed as a juror for a first-degree murder trial after Stevens reported a a comment Cathcart had made about a prosecutor’s hair. (Story here.) Cathcart said today that Stevens was just doing his job.

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