Stevens County Commissioners fight removal from office after Spokane judge signs order for unconstitutional gift of public funds

Staff Writer

Spokane Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno has signed an order against the Stevens County Commissioners and their bonding company for unconstitutional gifts of public funds. With the signing of the order, their offices are now vacant. Even if they appeal, it does not stop the existence of the vacancy, according to state law.
On Sept. 25, Moreno will consider arguments about whether pre-judgement interest, costs and statutory attorney fees are owing.
RCW 42.20.030 provides, in part, that every person... who, having been an executive or administrative officer, shall willfully exercise any of the functions of his or her office after his or her right to do so has ceased...shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said of Moreno's decision: "This is not a happy day for the county but it is a good day for justice. It is a day when people can be reassured that laws will be enforced so people will be held accountable for their conduct, no matter who they are or what position they hold. It is a day that proves no one is above the law."
The Stevens County Commissioners offices will be filled via RCW.36.32.070. Essentially, the Republican party will come up with a list of three names for each seat. The governor will then appoint people from that list for two of the vacancies. Those two will appoint the third seat within five days, or the governor will appoint the third seat as well.
There is no word yet on how the Stevens County Republicans plan to compile that list.

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