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Stevens says he voted for Frank Malone

Dave Stevens, a Republican who lost his bid this summer for Spokane County prosecutor to incumbent Republican Steve Tucker and Democrat Frank Malone, said Wednesday that he cast his vote for Malone in the November election.

Jon Brunt has the full story at the Spin Control blog.

Past coverage:

Feb. 18: Stevens releases letter to Tucker

Chris Bugbee: I’ll retire as prosecutor

When defense attorney Chris Bugbee (right) addressed a room full of Republicans in June, he told them that he not only intends to defeat incumbent Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker (left), Bugbee said he intends to retire from the office. 

The bold prediction not only illustrates Bugbee’s quick emergence as a front-runner but how contentious the primary contest has become. 

The five-way race also features Republican David Stevens (right), Democrat Frank Malone (bottom right), unaffiliated candidate Jim Reierson (bottom left) and Tucker, a Republican, who has repeatedly said that his opponents don’t understand what it takes to manage 140 employees and points to his experience as the reason he is the best choice.

All of the candidates are experienced lawyers.

 “I am the only one with law enforcement experience. I have more management experience than all the others and more time in the prosecutor’s office,” Tucker said. “It gives me a better base to make decisions.”

 But Bugbee, who up until 2002 worked under Tucker, deadpanned: “What good is experience if you are not actually doing the job?”

 Bugbee, 43, has raised twice as much money as his closest rival – Tucker – and has racked up the most influential law enforcement endorsements, landing the Spokane Police Guild, the Spokane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Fraternal Order of Police, which is made up of retired law enforcement.

Read the rest of Thomas Clouses’s story here.

Read more about the candidates here.

Knezovich’s ‘support’ falls in gray area

A testament to the popularity of Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich may be the level to which candidates for Spokane County prosecutor are seeking his support.

The situation came to a head last week when incumbent Steve Tucker announced during a debate that he had the support of Knezovich (pictured).

Asked to clarify that support, Tucker made it clear that the sheriff has not endorsed his candidacy.

But Tucker’s opponents – fellow Republicans Chris Bugbee and Dave Stevens, Democrat Frank Malone and unaffiliated candidate Jim Reierson – all said they believe the average voter may not know the difference between support and an official endorsement.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Bugbee earns another endorsement

The Spokane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association has endorsed defense attorney Chris Bugbee for the race for Spokane County Prosecutor, according to a campaign news release.

Bugbee, who is currently defending double-homicide suspect Justin W. Crenshaw, said he was informed of the decision late Wednesday. It adds to his list of endorsements that includes the Spokane Police Guild, the Fraternal Order of Police, Local Lodge #20mand a split endorsement from the Republicans of Spokane County.

However, incumbent Steve Tucker earned the other half of the endorsement from the Republicans of Spokane County. But, Deputy Prosecutor David Stevens received the official Republican Party endorsement.

Tucker, Stevens, and Bugbee, all Republicans, face Democrat Frank Malone and Jim Reierson, who has no political affiliation, in the August 17 primary election. The two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election.

GOP group endorses both Bugbee, Tucker

The Republicans of Spokane County endorsed both incumbent Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and challenger Chris Bugbee after an election forum this week.

That left out Republican challenger Dave Stevens, who earlier earned the endorsement of the Spokane County Republican Party.

Democrat Frank Malone and self-proclaimed “Law and Order” candidate Jim Reierson were not invited to the Monday forum sponsored by Republicans of Spokane County, which endorses candidates separate from the main party.

Tucker said he also received the endorsement of the Spokane Regional Labor Council, which includes several large unions.

Bugbee earlier received the endorsement of the Spokane Police Guild.

Separately, Tucker was elected Wednesday as the secretary of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He said he’ll become president of that organization in two years if he is re-elected.

GOP prosecutor forum set for tonight

A forum for three of the five candidates seeking the Spokane County prosecutor’s spot is set for tonight..

The forum, sponsored by the Republicans of Spokane County, will be moderated by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who has not endorsed a candidate. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Quality Inn Valley Suites, 8923 E. Mission Ave., in Millwood, and will include incumbent Steve Tucker, Chris Bugbee and Dave Stevens, who all list themselves as Republicans.

Not invited are Democratic candidate Frank Malone and “Law and Order” candidate Jim Reierson, who works as a deputy prosecutor in Kootenai County.

Read a story on the debate here.

Elton’s wife donated to Stevens’ campaign

A candidate for Spokane County prosecutor has accepted a $500 campaign contribution from the wife of a man being prosecuted by the office he wants to oversee.

Records show that Republican prosecuting attorney candidate Dave Stevens accepted the donation in February and has kept the money despite knowing that the contributor’s husband, David Elton (left), faces three counts of felony harassment.

David Elton wrote in an e-mail in February that he would “donate as much as he could afford” to Stevens’ campaign. Documents from the state Public Disclosure Commission show that Elton’s wife, Belinda Elton, contributed $500 in February.

Read the rest of Jonathan Brunt’s story here.

Elton, 44, is accused of making threats in e-mail messages to his ex-wife, Robin Stewart, Cowles Co. Chairwoman Betsy Cowles and Spokane City Council President Joe Shogan. Deputy Prosecutor Dale Nagy is seeking a bench warrant for Elton, alleging he’s failed to notify Nagy on several occasions that he’s leaving town 48 hours in advance as required by a court order.

Judge Maryann Moreno is set to hear that motion on April 15.

Mark Vovos withdrew as Elton’s lawyer late last month. Elton has said he may represent himself.

Past coverage:

Trial set for Elton on threat charges

‘Murder’ email meant as joke, suspect says

Election update: Stevens gets new manager

The former deputy prosecutor challenging his boss for the top prosecutor’s spot has a new campaign manager.

Rae Lynn Conger will manage Dave Stevens’ campaign against Prosecutor Steve Tucker, Stevens announced today. His former manager Michael Cathcart, left the campaign to become campaign manager for Michael Baumgartner, who is running for state Senate in the 6th district against Chris Marr.

Conger has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Eastern Washington University. In 2006, she spoke with The Spokesman-Review about her objection to identify her race on forms or applications. Read that story here.

Stevens was fired by Tucker last month. He’s challenging the dismissal through his union.

Past coverage:

Stevens releases letter to Tucker

Spokane prosecutor fires election opponent

Democrat joins prosecutor race

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

Stevens will challenge Tucker for Spokane County prosecutor

Stevens releases letter to Tucker

David Stevens has released his response to the complaints that led to his firing as a deputy prosecutor.

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker fired Stevens, who had been with the office since 2002, yesterday after putting him on leave shortly after he announced he was running for Tucker’s job.

“It was a management decision,” Tucker said. “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. “

In a five-page letter addressed to Tucker Feb. 11 and released publicly today, Stevens said no one would be fired if he’s elected.

He detailed a conversation he had with another deputy prosecutor who had asked if his job was safe if Stevens won. Stevens says he told him yes but mentioned a supervisor he feels lacks necessary skills.

“In response to his questions, I said that I found it unusual that supervisor and the people they supervise aren’t separated better,” Stevens wrote. “If elected, it’s an issue I would like to consider, but in no way did I ever say that supervisors shouldn’t’ be union members.”

Stevens continues, “Mr. Grasso asked me if I thought I would be fired. In response to his question, I told Mr. Grasso that I hoped not but many of my friends thought it might be good publicity and I shared what my friends had said about how it would “get a few bites at this apple…” I was clear in responding to his question, saying that I hoped not to be fired and that I was just as committed to working my cases as I had always been.”

Read the entire letter here

Past coverage:

Spokane prosecutor fires election opponent

Democrat joins prosecutor race

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

Stevens will challenge Tucker for Spokane County prosecutor

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