A proposed ordinance would provide prosecutors with a blank check for legal expenses for disciplinary hearings (TNT, 10-27).
Currently, Pierce County is obligated to pay no more than $15,000 for such a proceeding. The proposed ordinance would remove the cap.
The elected prosecutor has the power to approve an attorney for county lawyers. His power over public defenders should end; his power over prosecutors should be reviewable. Indemnification is for defense of good-faith performance of duties. The whistleblower report leaves no doubt that for Mark Lindquist, the test of good-faith performance of duties is doing what he wants done.
Other counties do not have such a cap. Perhaps a change in the ordinance should be considered, but not now.
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Until Lindquist became prosecutor, this was not an issue. The county has already expended $976,893.04 on private attorney fees because of Lindquist. The dangers of waste and abuse are simply too great.
Criminal defendants are prosecuted under the law that existed at the time of the alleged crime. Lindquist wants a blank check for his legal fees and for those of his deputy prosecutors. The indemnification of prosecutors should be pursuant to the county ordinance in effect at the time of the alleged misconduct.
(Cain, a Tacoma attorney, is one of three people who have filed a complaint against Lindquist accusing him of trying to improperly influence a judge.)