In another bizarre twist to the $40 million Gypsy lawsuit, two of its main characters will face off in a Spokane School Board election.
Jimmy Marks, a colorful Gypsy leader with a second-grade education, filed for board position 2 on Friday.
Assistant City Attorney Rocco Treppiedi, who is defending the city in the 6-year-old Gypsy case, filed Thursday for the same unpaid seat.
There is no filing fee.
Marks denied Friday he is running to tweak Treppiedi, although he said he was “tickled pink” when he found out the attorney was running.
But Marks’ wife, Jane, unaware her husband filed for the post, said: “This is getting to be a joke. He just wants to get Treppiedi nervous or something.”
Efforts to reach Treppiedi were unsuccessful.
Three years ago, Treppiedi requested a no-contact order against Marks in an effort to ban him from his offices. The order was denied.
News of the strange matchup had employees laughing at City Hall and Spokane School District 81 headquarters.
“Isn’t democracy wonderful?” said Spokane finance director Pete Fortin. “Obviously voters can make a decision on who’s more qualified.”
There will be four other choices for the same seat on the Sept. 19 primary ballot. School volunteer Christie Querna, consultant Steven Neumiller, Spokane Faith Church Pastor Lonny Bingle and retired Air Force meteorologist Lou Chobot also are running.
Incumbent Rob Fukai is running unopposed for another board post.
Marks, 50, cannot read or write.
If elected, he said he will hire an assistant to read board materials to him. He would pay the assistant with money he gets from the lawsuit against the city and county.
Marks’ suit, still pending in U.S. District Court, stems from a police raid at two Gypsy homes in 1986.
“I’m qualified to be on the school board,” Marks said. “I have the ego and the time.”