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Judge rules recall petition against Pierce County prosecutor can go forward

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Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist. (Photo: KCPQ)

PORT ORCHARD, Wash.  — A Kitsap County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a recall petition against Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist can go forward on a charge of abuse of authority, but he threw out 11 other charges.

Judge Jay B. Roof said that charges 2 through 12 on the recall petition were “factually and legally insufficient” and could not go forward.

But charge No. 1 can go forward, he said.

Charge 1 refers to a long-running criminal case involving Lynn Dalsing, who was twice charged with sex crimes by Lindquist’s office. Twice, judges have dismissed the charges against her, the second time due to prosecutorial vindictiveness.

The recall charge accuses Lindquist of leading that action and charging Dalsing again to stop her from gaining advantage in the false-arrest suit she filed against the county.

The judge ruled Friday:

“Regarding Charge 1, Petitioner’s charge is factually and legally sufficient that
Lindquist abused his authority by engaging in a vindictive prosecution of a Pierce County woman; withholding evidence, and obstructing justice. These charges stem from the case of State of Washington v. Dalsing, where Lindquist’s office filed new, greatly-expanded criminal charges against Lynn Dalsing three days after the Court of Appeals upheld a trial court order requiring the disclosure of exculpatory emails and deposition of deputy prosecuting attorneys (“DPA”) in Dalsing’s civil suit against Pierce County.

“The charges halted discover in Dalsing’s civil suit. Although Lindquist argues that many of the factual allegations pertaining to Charge 1 concern the actions of DPA’s, not Lindquist himself, and although it is correct that an official cannot be recalled for the acts of a subordinate done without the official’s knowledge or ability to direct, the  facts alleged by Petitioner allow voters to draw reasonable inferences from those facts that Lindquist either knew of or directed the alleged conduct, thereby abusing his authority.”

Afterward, Lindquist issued this statement:

“Our office charged Lynn Dalsing for one reason only — evidence showed she assisted in the crimes of Child Rape, Molestation and Sexual Exploitation. Judges repeatedly found probable cause for the filing of these charges. I’m confident the public will support our efforts to pursue justice for the young victims and for the community, especially when they review the powerful evidence against Ms. Dalsing.”

Lindquist was re-elected to a second term in November after running unopposed.