Suspect denies taking pickup
The man shot in the head after allegedly stealing an off-duty police officer’s pickup pleaded innocent Wednesday to second-degree vehicle theft.
Shonto K. Pete’s attorney argued during the arraignment that there was a lack of evidence for the charge, but Spokane Superior Court Judge Mark Price didn’t budge.
Pete remains jailed on $10,000 bail. His trial is set for June 11.
Pete is accused of stealing James “Jay” Olsen’s truck from outside a downtown bar in late February. Olsen shot at Pete four times, hitting him once, after chasing him into the Peaceful Valley neighborhood.
Olsen is charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He was released Monday night after posting bail.
Olsen, who is on unpaid leave, has not yet been arraigned.
– Jody Lawrence-Turner
Salary panel meets tonight
The Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials meets tonight in Spokane to take public testimony on raises proposed for state judges, representatives, senators, the governor and other elected members of the state’s executive branch.
Proposed raises range from 9 percent to 19 percent over two years.
State legislators’ salaries would climb from $36,311 to $42,106 in 2008. The governor’s salary would increase from $150,995 to $166,891 in September 2008.
More information about the proposed raises is available at www.salaries.wa.gov.
The meeting is at 6 tonight at the Red Lion River Inn, 700 N. Division.
The commission will make its final decision on May 15.
– Amy Cannata
Gregoire OKs bill rejecting Real ID
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday signed legislation rejecting Real ID, a federal identification requirement that would essentially create a national ID card.
The bill is part of a growing rebellion against an expensive federal mandate that the American Civil Liberties Union says would threaten personal privacy.
The new state law says Washington will not implement the new Real ID system unless Uncle Sam foots the bill and addresses privacy and security concerns, and the system doesn’t place unreasonable costs or recordkeeping burdens on citizens.
The system, adopted by Congress in 2005, requires states to develop a new driver’s license and personal identification card that allows information to be checked by national databases. It requires the applicant to show a birth certificate, proof of citizenship, proof of state residency and other information. The person’s information must be stored electronically by the state.
The system, which is supposed to be a requirement in 2008, would cost the state $250 million to develop and implement, the governor said.
– Associated Press