TNT, Sean Robinson, Wednesday September 10th, 2014

Public Records:

TNT, Sean Robinson, Wednesday September 10th, 2014: Loss for Prosecutor, Court: Cellphone not private if used for public business, Call records and text messages from Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist’s personal mobile phone aren’t private if they’re related to public business.  The idea drives a unanimous ruling issued Tuesday by the Washington State Court of Appeals.  Joan Mell, the attorney for sheriff’s Deputy Glenda Nissen, who filed the lawsuit that spawned Tuesday’s ruling, said she and her client were elated.  “The decision is sound and a huge victory that protects against government operating behind closed doors or offline,” Mell said.  “We hope the prosector immediately turns over his work-related texts and call log so the public can see he is indeed transparent and using public resources wisely.”

TNT, Debbie Cafazzo, Sunday March 22nd, 2015

Education:

TNT, Debbie Cafazzo, Sunday March 22nd, 2015: Lincoln High educators who went public with complaints face more discipline.  Another volley in a battle between three Lincoln High School educators and the Tacoma School District over allegations of student dumping was launched this month when the district issued a second round of suspensions without pay.  Mell says her clients disclosed additional records to her office in response to a verbal order from Larkin that came during a November court proceeding.  During the hearing, according to court documents, Larkin said he couldn’t make a decision without first reviewing documents in private.  In December, Mell provided the court with a DVD of documents from her clients.  She maintains that she’s entitled to see documents her clients share with her as part of the attorney-client privilege.  “If we can’t look at this stuff, I’m going to have a hard time representing these individuals.” Mell said.  Mell said the district is retaliating against her clients for trying to report misconduct by school officials.  “(Peter, McGatlin and Gavigan) care about what they do, and they care about kids,” Mell said.

TNT, Ken Miller, Monday December 15th, 2014

Education:

TNT, Ken Miller, Monday December 15th, 2014: Graduation “miracle”? Don’t don party hats yet.  You may recall school staff raising this issue in September.  And some took advantage of a new state law that authorizes “re-engagement centers.”  Ah, yes, an enchanted place, where potential and current dropouts find an “alternative learning environment” – and are taken off the books.  You may recall school staff raising this issue in September.  They said their school was “forcing” students into the re-engagement center to improve graduation rates.

TNT, The Nose Friday Nov. 14th, 2014

Politics:

TNT, The Nose Friday Nov. 14th, 2014:  An aromatic election remnant:  [w]e calculated a fun trivia metric:  the most number of write-in votes cast against an unopposed candidate.  Answer:  Mark “Our Prosecutor” Lindquist. By a long shot….Lindquist had 6,070 write-in ballots cast against him.  The highest number for any of the other 13 unopposed candidates? 3,189.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we give you the least popular candidate who got a free ride in Pierceland.  An open-and-shut case.

TNT, Debbie Cafazzo, Tuesday October 7th, 2014

Education:

TNT, Debbie Cafazzo, Tuesday October 7th, 2014: Controversy Over Alternative Programs, “Mell believes that a school district suing staff members over documents in this manner is “apparently unprecedented.”  She said the issue over the documents has complicated the due process procedures her clients are entitled to.”

CNN, Michael Martinez and Tom Laabs, September 1, 2012: Washington state teacher placed on leave again in pupil bullying case. “The game escalated out of control.” Mell told CNN.  Referring to teacher Rosi, Mell charged: “He led it, he taught, … he incited it.”

Huffington Post, August 30th, 2012: John Rosi, Washington Middle School Teacher, Led Bullying Incident “Of Epic Proportions,” Family Lawyer Says

Fox News, October 31st, 2012: Parents of boy allegedly bullied at school ask board to fire teacher.  “Classifying it as classroom mismanagement to me is unfair, not only to my son but other kids in this district.” Kinney said.

Law Enforcement:

TNT, Sean Robinson, Friday August 1st, 2014, $118,000 Judge’s reversal means ex-deputy won’t pay fees.  Pierce County prosecutors lost a round this week in a long-running legal battle with a retired sheriff’s deputy seeking to clear his name….Mell said “Detective Ames and I will continue all the way up as needed to make sure the prosecutor is accountable to police officers and their advocates.”

TNT, Sean Robinson, The Case of Four Little Words, Sunday June 22nd, 2014: A bitter fight over child porn evidence pits Pierce County prosecutors against a former detective. “As a police officer I have taken an oath to uphold the law, and to be truthful and honest even when doing so may conflict with the wishes of the Prosecuting Attorney.” Deputy Mike Ames, in a legal declaration.

TNT, Letters to the Editor Friday October 3rd, 2014

Politics:

TNT, Letters to the Editor Friday October 3rd, 2014: COUNTY: What’s true cost of Lindquist’s defense?  The Pierce County executive should be concerned about the amount of legal bills paid by Prosecutor Mark Lindquist’ office to outside attorneys at taxpayer expense (TNT, 9-28).  We should all be concerned about how much money he is spending…

TNT, Sean Robinson, Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Politics:

TNT, Sean Robinson, Sunday, September 28th, 2014: County Executive, McCarty worried about legal bills, now at $683,000, The biggest chunk of money comes from a long-running legal battle over Lindquist’s cellphone records. … A second case, linked to a retired sheriff’s deputy seeking a hearing to clear his name, has triggered $248,334 in outside attorney fees….The Washam claims let to multiple settlements…

TNT, Debbie Cafazzo, Friday September 5th, 2014

Education:

TNT, Debbie Cafazzo, Friday September 5th, 2014:  Dispute at Lincoln High School, 3 educators say at-risk students are dumped into the Re-Engagement Center.  The counselors, through their attorney Joan Mell, offered copies of emails from administrators that they claim improperly targeted students for referrals outside Lincoln… Mell said her clients want a thorough investigation of what’s happening at Lincoln.  And she accuses the school district of “attacking them for expressing their concerns.”…