Re: “New statement too late for Lindquist ethics case” (TNT, 4-3).
The Pierce County Ethics Commission’s dismissal of the Mark Lindquist investigation less absolves the prosecutor of wrongdoing than calls into question the competency of the commission. Rather than consider information provided from Mary Robnett, it arbitrarily ruled her information was received too late for consideration.
Robnett was Lindquist’s chief criminal deputy from 2009 to 2012. She reported that Lindquist suggested that if attorney Stewart Estes represented him personally in the Glenda Nissen matter, he could profit from other legal work for Pierce County in the future. Since Estes began to represent Lindquist, his firm has received more than a half million dollars from the county.
The commission’s investigator interviewed only Lindquist, Estes and a county prosecutor who reports to Lindquist. When provided information by someone with nothing to gain, the commission without justification ignored the evidence.
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Lindquist has stated that Robnett’s timing is curious and her motives questionable, giving her zero credibility. The decision not to follow up on Robnett’s claims gives the commission’s ruling zero credibility.
Even without a finding of quid pro quo, the ordinance loophole that allows a public official to receive free work from an individual contracting with the county should be quickly closed.
(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.)