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After misspent funds debacle, Stevens County Republicans nominate commissioners

UPDATED: Sun., Oct. 11, 2020

The Stevens County Courthouse in Colville is seen in January 2019.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
The Stevens County Courthouse in Colville is seen in January 2019. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

After three Stevens County Commissioners were effectively forced out of office by a judge in August, Stevens County Republican Party Precinct Committee Officers nominated nine people for the open seats Saturday – including two of the ousted three.

In August, a judge’s decision effectively ejected three Stevens County Commissioners – Steve Parker, Wes McCart and Don Dashiell – after auditors found in 2019 that over four years, the Stevens County commissioners misspent more than $121,000 from a fund dedicated to fighting homelessness.

The misspending included more than $30,000 that went to a couple whose home was damaged by historic flooding last spring and nearly $91,000 that two nonprofits used to build a transitional home for people with spinal cord injuries. Auditors deemed the expenses “unallowable gifts” of public funds.

The officers voted and nominated nine nominees for the open county commissioner seats, three nominees per seat. Gov. Jay Inslee will select two commissioners from the three pools of nominees, and those two will select the third commissioner from the remaining list.

Districts 1 and 3 are up for election, meaning the commissioners appointed to those seats will likely only serve through the end of the year. The District 2 commissioner will stay on until a special election next year.

Despite their ousters, Dashiell and McCart were nominated Saturday.

In District 1, the officers selected McCart, who won 71.6% of the vote for the seat in the August primary, as their first choice. Tri-County Christian Center Pastor Cindi White was second choice and Les Denison, regional sales manager at Washington’s Lottery, third.

In District 2, the officers selected Chewelah Police Chief Mark Burrows as their first choice, corrections officer Carl Taylor second and Dashiell third.

In District 3, the officers first selected Greg Young, who won 25.7% of the vote for the seat in August, former Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen second and Veterans Service Officer (VSO) for the county Bob Gumm third.

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