Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Counties’ Category

“Seattle Women In Software Design: Student Improves on King County Web App

by Matt Rosenberg June 30th, 2014

“Ever find yourself puzzled over how to properly recycle or dispose of unwanted household and business wastes? For King County residents, there’s a new web app for that! It was engineered by Audrey Carlsen, a Seattle woman who took on the project as the capstone of her six months of intensive classroom instruction with the Ada Developers Academy.”

Read the whole thing at Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance.

Fraud Report: Timesheet Padding Cost Harborview $16K

by Matt Rosenberg August 29th, 2013

A new fraud investigation report from Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley finds that an “electroneurodiagnostic technician” at Harborview Medical Center – which is owned by King County and operated by the University of Washington – between January 2010 and the end of October, 2012 received pay for 628 hours she didn’t work, valued at $16,286. It is the third time since April 2012 that state investigations have concluded a Harborview worker committed fraud. Another auditor’s report in 2010 found fault with cash handling practices at Harborview.

King County Jury Acquits Accused Hospital Rapist

by Matt Rosenberg August 8th, 2013

A Seattle man charged in April of 2011 with raping a woman when they were both patients in the mental health unit of St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way was acquitted this August 1 more than two years later by a jury in King County Superior Court. The acquittal came within less than 24 hours after the three-week trial ended in the Kent courtroom of Judge Suzanne Parisien. When Eddie Lawrence Greadington, 50, was originally charged by King County prosecutors with second-degree rape, the story garnered coverage from local and regional newspapers, plus radio and TV. But though acquittals and other case developments in King County are trackable through free online public records, at this writing Greadington’s exoneration by a jury of his peers has gone otherwise unreported.

Both Had Been Under Duress
Additionally, publicly-available King County audio tapes of the trial reveal through in-session court comments by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Knightlinger the previously unreported details that both Greadington and the alleged victim separately before checking in to the unit had each attempted suicide. In Greadington’s case this was by trying to jump off a bridge. Knightlinger noted the alleged victim had “attempted to take her own life” and was “struggling with her sexuality, having loved a woman” but still feeling love for her husband. Knightlinger at the trial’s close argued Greadington saw the alleged victim “as someone he could prey on” and believed he could “show her what a real man was.”

County prosecutors in the April 2011 charging papers alleged Greadington had on April 25, the day after he was admitted, in a St. Francis mental health unit group therapy discussion room with no one else present, approached the alleged victim, a south King County resident now 40 years old. After making sexually-charged comments, they charged that he threatened to re-open a recent neck artery wound of hers if she did not come with him. He allegedly gripped her hair forcefully and compelled her to come to his private room’s attached bathroom, where the state alleged he anally raped her for five to seven minutes, causing anal bleeding.

Audio-taped Trial Proceedings Reveal Defendant’s Unreported Story
However at trial – particularly under cross-examination by Knightlinger on July 31 – Greadington related a very different version of events. He claimed that the alleged victim had in fact come on to him, exposing her right breast in the group therapy room, then made sexually-charged comments and went to his room, where, he said, she suddenly appeared naked from the waist down in his bathroom and asked him to perform anal intercourse on her, which he did.

Testifying in a voice often loud, angry and impassioned – which prompted repeated warnings from Judge Parisien not to yell – Greadington stressed to the prosecution and to the jury that although he was not even initially interested, the sex did occur but was strictly consensual. He emphasized that he would not lie in court.

Trial audio tapes show that under cross-examination by county prosecutor Knightlinger, Greadington took control and was able to shape his message to the jury very clearly. He concluded in part by stating, “I just an old country boy. I believe in God, and he will serve justice….I wouldn’t sit here in front of this courtroom and all you people and…try to come with something slick….I’m 50 years old and I don’t raise my kids like that. I’m not the greatest father, I can admit that. I’m not the greatest husband, I can admit that. But I ain’t never come in this courtroom and start being no liar….That woman (the alleged victim) didn’t tell you the truth.”

Defense: Burden of Proof Not Met
Greadington’s public defender Dan Pelka emphasized in his closing argument that the prosecution’s burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt “is a high standard” and had not been met. Not only was Greadington’s version of events credible, Pelka asserted, but the documented claim by the alleged victim that she had suffered rectal bleeding as a result of the anal sex was not corroborated by physical evidence; there was no blood on the underwear she put back on after the encounter and an anal swab by hospital staff revealed semen but not blood, Pelka told the jury, citing earlier testimony from hospital personnel.

Pelka added that what transpired was in fact a voluntary and consensual act between two people who were at their “lowest”. It wasn’t advisable, and prompted regrets, Pelka asserted, but it was consensual.

Public Data Ferret’s King County+Courts+Crime archive

The jury recessed to begin deliberations at 2:43 p.m. on July 31 and resumed at 9:08 a.m. the next morning. By 10:58 a.m. they had returned the verdict of not guilty, according to case records. The jury was not individually polled by the judge. Attempts to reach the foreman and the alleged victim were not successful. However, Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said, “We felt that this was a case that needed to be heard by a jury. We found the victim’s statement credible. Although we disagree with the verdict, we respect the jury’s decision.”

According to court records, Greadington has prior criminal convictions for unlawful imprisonment, possession of stolen property in the first degree, attempting to elude police, assault in the fourth degree, taking a motor vehicle, theft in the third degree, and three more for criminal trespass in the first degree. The convictions span from 1984 to 2011. His profession is carpentry, according to trial proceedings. His last known address according to court records, is in the 4700 block of 32nd Ave. S. in Seattle.

The rape trial began 26 months after charges were filed. There were numerous continuances granted at the request of Greadington’s attorneys as they sought to prepare his case. At two points during the lead-up to trial, the alleged victim wrote brief notes to the judge, included in the case file, urging no further delays and a prompt start to the trial. The second such note, dated June 6 of this year, read, “this trial has been rescheduled several times. The defendant’s attorney has used every trick in the book. I would like to see some closer (sic) at this point. It has been over two years.” The trial did start the following month.


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King County DUI plea deal with Renton driver accents recent U.S. high court constraints on blood alcohol tests

by Matt Rosenberg July 16th, 2013

Because of an April U.S. Supreme Court ruling normally barring consideration of blood alcohol tests done without search warrants, says a King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office official, a 20-year-old Renton woman who ran into a man in a wheelchair at a crosswalk and who had levels of alcohol and marijuana in her blood that exceeded legal limits, got off last Friday with misdemeanor convictions and related sentences rather than facing the original felony charges. On July 12 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas finalized a plea deal between the county and attorneys for defendant Emily Sue Falkenstein resulting in her conviction on misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and reckless endangerment rather than the original felony charges of vehicular assault and felony reckless endangerment. That’s directly because prosecutors were unable to use blood tests taken shortly afterward due to the April high court ruling in the case of Missouri v. McNeely, said Ian Goodhew, Deputy Chief of Staff to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

KIng County audit hastens fix pledges on accident pay-outs

by Matt Rosenberg July 9th, 2013

King County could do far better controlling public risk and related liability pay-outs in negligence cases, especially those related to Metro Transit and other transportation functions, according to a recent and wholly overlooked report from the King County Auditor’s Office. It accents “critical weaknesses” in current risk control strategies. These include baked-in lowballing of the real risk bill to county taxpayers due to ignoring workers compensation costs in taxpayer-funded tort liability settlements; and lack of an overall risk control system including thorough accident data tracking and related performance standards. Another shortcoming is insufficient driver safety training, the audit finds.

Outside of transportation, the audit says the county “will continue to face compliance and claims risks” because of its sub-par system for responding to public records requests, and that it must speed efforts to implement risk controls around incidences of excessive force by the King County Sheriff’s office, and cyber-secuirty vulnerabilities. Top officials say they’re implementing some changes already, and more are to come.

Sound Transit Would Reject Key Reforms in State Audit

by Matt Rosenberg June 27th, 2013

In a draft status update to be presented this morning at its audit committee meeting, the three-county Seattle region transit agency Sound Transit pointedly rejects a score of key ethics reforms recommended for its Citizens Oversight Panel in a bristling state performance audit released last fall. If the responses are affirmed by the full ST board as is likely, there will be no COP meetings at night so citizens can more easily attend; no outside screening of COP appointees for potential conflicts of interest; no mandated geographic diversity; no restrictions on public advocacy of transit-related measures by COP members; no mandated separate annual fiscal report by the COP; and no use of outside experts by the watchdog panel. There will be some improvements to the COP’s Web page.

Pols urge “system-wide” tolling study; I-90 EIS looms

by Matt Rosenberg May 22nd, 2013

Proposed electronic tolling of I-90 just east of Seattle – to fill a $1.4 billion gap in building the western approach of a new bridge on SR 520 – is getting more complicated. There will now be a full Environmental Impact Statement, not just an Environmental Assessment. Regional pols are also pushing for a “system-wide” study of tolling in greater Seattle which they say should include looking at using vehicle tolling revenues to fund transit. And in the end it could be that instead of relying on I-90 user fees, tolling on a broader swath of SR 520 itself will help pay for the new bridge’s western approach.