South Sound News

Pierce County approves $650,000 to settle last outstanding Lindquist-related lawsuit

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist speaking at "Preventing Elder Abuse" event.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — The Pierce County Council has agreed to pay $649,999 to settle a final lawsuit related to former Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Former sheriff’s deputy Mike Ames alleged in the lawsuit that Lindquist and subordinates tried to ruin his career.

Council members voted to approve the settlement at their June 18 meeting, and attorneys have filed a notice of settlement in U.S. District Court.

Asked about legal costs in the case, a spokeswoman said Friday that Pierce County had paid $1,079,635 thus far, not including the settlement. A final figure is expected in the next couple of months.

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Ames is one of two former sheriff's deputies to sue the county in 2016, alleging retaliation by Lindquist.

The Council approved a $950,000 settlement earlier this year to Glenda Nissen. Prior legal costs and fees, in that case, brought the total bill to about $2.35 million at that time, The News Tribune reported.

Ames said prosecutors improperly put him on the so-called "Brady" list of dishonest officers. He retired from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department in 2014 after a 26-year career.

Nissen also argued that Lindquist and subordinates tried to hurt her career. High-ranking prosecutors ordered subordinates not to speak with Nissen or use evidence she gathered, she alleged.

Nissen fought for text messages to be disclosed from Lindquist’s private phone, including some that showed he tried to influence online reaction to an article about her.

Lindquist lost reelection in November to a former deputy prosecutor, Mary Robnett.