When Garrett A. Bakken last July was charged with the felony DUI offense of vehicular assault after veering off Lake Washington Boulevard in Renton, Wash. and slamming into a pedestrian on a pathway, the story garnered coverage from local television and online news outlets and even made the New York Daily News. According to court files, Bakken’s blood alcohol level was nearly two-and-a-half-times the legal limit, and he initially drove away after the impact. At first, the victim’s identity was unknown. Last week on Friday May 3 to no fanfare Bakken, following an earlier plea agreement, was issued by King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas a “standard range” sentence on the charge for a first-time felony offender: six months work release. Starting later this month the Renton man, 28, will go each weekday to work but spend nights and weekends in county custody until nearly Thanksgiving. For the victim, however, life is nowhere near its “standard range” prior to the accident.
Collaboration in Civic Spheres
Archive for the ‘Law’ Category
by Matt Rosenberg May 9th, 2013
by Matt Rosenberg May 3rd, 2013
A 29-year man from India in the U.S. on a work visa and employed at the time as a San Jose, Calif.-based software development manager for Amazon.com, was arrested April 12 and charged April 19 in King County Superior Court with the felony offense of attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor after becoming ensnared in a Seattle Police Department vice unit sting involving an apparent 15-year-old prostitute. Public documents in the case file assert he agreed to pay the apparent prostitute $60 for oral sex, cuddling and fondling in his room at the Seattle Hyatt at the end of a five-day business trip here in mid-April. It is another in a series of Seattle Police vice unit busts attempting to root out alleged patrons of underage prostitutes – engineered through online hook-up ads, emails and text messaging conversations. Similar cases recently filed have not yet yielded convictions but have already resulted in a University of Washington-Bothell teaching associate being placed on temporary leave, and a managing director of the Seattle-based national firm Slalom Consulting being dismissed from his job.
by Matt Rosenberg March 6th, 2013
The Bellevue City Council Monday approved a settlement for $750,000 with a pedestrian who two years ago was struck and badly injured by a city vehicle driven by a parks department employee. The victim was Evelyn Rissman of Lynnwood, now 58, a certified pediatric nurse who works for Group Health in Bellevue. The driver, who later retired and is now deceased, was William Richard Sackville, a facilities operations specialist for the city parks department. The most recent public records available online show that in 2007 he earned $81,726 for the city, plus another $5,588 in overtime.
by Matt Rosenberg February 5th, 2013
A woman run over by a bus in West Seattle. A man who had already won a large settlement for police excessive force but whose attorney was denied key records in the process. A woman attacked and injured by a neighbor’s two pit bulls, about which she had already made complaints. Three different people injured by the same King County bus that rounded a bend on Interstate 5 and smacked into stalled traffic, at 30 miles per hour. These are a few of the 13 “tort,” or negligence lawsuits King County settled before trial with claimants for $100,000 or more in the fourth quarter of 2012, for a total of $10,535,500. The information comes in a new report to the King County Council from Jennifer Hillis, Director of the Office of Risk Management, Department of Executive Services.
The last quarter results bring to $15,785,500 the total of $100,000-plus tort claim settlements by the county in 2012, compared to $23.1 million in 2011 and $10.3 million in 2010, according to earlier county records reported on by Public Data Ferret. The percentage of dollars paid out in such settlements that stemmed from errors attributed to King County Metro transit employees was almost 73 percent in 2012 versus 27 percent in 2011 and 64 percent in 2010.
by Matt Rosenberg November 14th, 2012
It’s entirely possible the U.S. will just chillax on possible prosecutions for marijuana use allowed in states now to include Washington, where voters last week approved medicinal or recreational adult use of an ounce or less starting in a few weeks, and levying a 25 percent tax on authorized sales once rules are adopted. But anything much like a big industrial marijuana sales operation with a state’s OK is likely to get the gimlet eye from federal prosecutors. These are among the key suggestions in a new report from the Congressional Research Service issued late last week after Washington and Colorado voters liberalized their state marijuana laws.
Officially, it’s not clear yet what the federal response will be to Washington’s Initiative 502, which passed by an 11-point margin. As the Seattle Times reported last week, options include contesting individual usage under U.S. law, or challenging the very concept of licensed sales, which will ensue from state guidelines issued a year from now. But the CRS report, which is national in scope and accents key U.S. Justice Department documents, quietly suggests the feds may be looking for a nuanced middle ground in states such as Washington.
by Matt Rosenberg October 24th, 2012
The Port of Seattle has decided it will revisit a 12-year-old legal setback that sharply limited its powers to micromanage the labor relations of its concessionaires. The Port approved at its October 23 business meeting a motion authorizing outside legal counsel to seek “to dissolve or modify” a 2000 federal court order and consent judgement that blocked a Port attempt to make a concessionaire hire workers from a particular Port-allied labor union. The agreement also permanently blocked any other Port actions interfering with the federally-protected rights of concessionaires “to assign work to their own employees.”
Under Port rules and a related labor agreement, the Port had required CityIce Cold Storage at Terminal 91 in Seattle to hire workers from International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU) Local 19 for unloading of fish and seafood cargo, in place of the CityIce boats’ own crews or CityIce’s Teamsters-affiliated dockworkers. Judge Barbara Rothstein’s order was entered in the U.S. District Court of Washington’s Western District, in Seattle. It required the Port to pay $275,000 in legal fees to CityIce. It also re-estalished the concessionaire’s labor management rights; and has effectively blocked the Port not only from dictating who a concessionaire should hire, but also from requiring or even strongly recommending to concessionaires that they adopt a so-called “worker retention” policy.
Job security sought for concessions workers
That last part is a sticking point these days for the Port, as board commissioners have repeatedly said in public meetings over the last two years. The Port has detailed publicly that it wants concessionaires – companies who bid to win lease rights on Port property to do business – to commit upfront, perhaps as a condition of being awarded a concession, that they will take steps to try to hire suitable ex-workers of other Port concessionaires who ended their leases with the Port. The worker retention policy push is part of a broader Concessions Master Plan the Port is developing to govern its relations from 2015 to 2017 with concessionaires at its Sea-Tac Airport. There are more than 50 in-airport concessionaires at Sea-Tac and others on adjacent airport properties.
by Matt Rosenberg October 23rd, 2012
The Seattle Channel’s “City Inside Out” takes a look at Initiative 502 in an informative TV magazine segment below. If approved by voters, the initiative would legalize possession in Washington state of an ounce or less of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. Pot purchased from approved dispensaries would be taxed at a rate of 25 percent, adding as much as $500 million a year in state revenues, according to official estimates. Street busts of small-scale buyers and sellers, which clog courts and which some say unfairly ensnare African-Americans, would subside. But critics say the high tax would fuel continuing black market sales – and that because it’s still a federal crime to possess pot, I-502 raises more questions than it answers.
The question facing voters on the ballot: “This measure would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over twenty-one; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues. Should this measure be enacted into law?”
More from “City Inside Out.”
RELATED: “Marijuana legalization Leads In New Polls, But Not A Lock,” Seattle Times, 10/22/12