SEATTLE — The Federal Way Police Department has tapped the Washington State Patrol to conduct an investigation into Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest and any role he had in taking campaign signs from the city’s impound lot.
On Sept. 24 shortly before 10 p.m., a Federal Way police officer reported seeing a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a city owned building. The officer reported that the vehicle was Priest’s and he reported it to the on-duty patrol supervisor.
The city was using the impound area to store signs that were seized for being illegally placed. Signs are returned to candidates after payment of a fine has been received for each sign that is returned.
During the initial investigation, the Federal Way Police Chief, Brian J. Wilson, obtained a statement from a city employee that Priest had paid the fine for the seized signs prior to taking them on Sept. 24. A check from the mayor was reported to have been deposited into the city’s account on Sept. 25.
Wilson then requested the assistance of WSP to conduct a thorough review of the incident and determine if any charges should be filed or any other review of the incident is necessary.
In May, city councilmember Kelly Maloney filed a complaint that Priest had gotten angry with her, pounded his fist on his desk and went on a tirade “lacing the ‘F’-word throughout his statements as he was yelling,” the Federal Way Mirror reported. An investigator determined that what Priest referred to as his “direct mode” of communication “may have irritated or upset some of his colleagues, but he’s done nothing that would warrant pursuing this investigation any further.”
The Mirror also reported that in August 2012, Priest was suspended from the Washington Bar Association for non-payment of insurance. Priest told the paper the suspension wasn’t worrisome to him as he had only had one case in his law career — representing a defendant with a speeding ticket.
In 2002, Priest, a Repubican, was elected to the state House of Representatives.