FOURTH man Accuses Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of Paying Him for Sex

A Murray spokesman denied the latest allegations, made in a court filing late Tuesday, calling them a “sensational media stunt.” The mayor’s lawyers Wednesday morning redoubled their effort to get a judge to sanction the attorney who submitted the new court filing and is representing another man who filed a lawsuit last month.

The new accuser, 44-year-old Maurice Jones, said in a sworn court declaration he was introduced to Murray by Delvonn Heckard, the Kent man who filed last month’s lawsuit claiming Murray sexually abused him as a teenager in the 1980s.

Jones’ declaration, filed in King County Superior Court, was brief, saying he had been to Murray’s Capitol Hill apartment at an unspecified time and that Murray “gave me money for sex.”

ulie Kays, one of Heckard’s attorneys, said Wednesday that Jones was in his midteens at the time. “He recalls at least two instances when, as a teenager, Murray paid (him) for sex. Once at Murray’s apartment and once in a car,” she said.

Jones’ declaration added he was “not part of any right-wing conspiracy” and that he is gay — a reference to Murray’s argument that accusations against him by Heckard and two other men are politically motivated.

The handwritten declaration was taken at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent on Tuesday by Kays and Lincoln Beauregard, Heckard’s lead attorney.

Jones, who has a lengthy criminal record, has been held on drug charges since late March.

The document was prepared and passed through a glassed-off visitation partition to Jones for his signature, Kays said. The declaration was filed in court along with a photograph of Beauregard holding the document, with Jones on the other side of the glass partition. Both men are smiling.

As he has with previous allegations, a Murray spokesman vehemently denied the latest claim. Read the rest of this entry »


Judge Tosses Seattle’s Absurd Ordinance Requiring Warrantless Garbage-Can Searches

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National Embarrassment: Seattle Public Utilities Privacy Violating Ordinance Laughed Out of Court.

Under the 2015 ordinance, garbage collectors were required to determine by “visual inspection” whether more than 10 percent of a trash can’s contents were made up of recyclable items or food waste. Violators are subject to fines.

The lawsuit argued that the ordinance essentially allowed warrantless searches, an invasion of privacy, and a ‘policy of massive and persistent snooping.’

Valerie Richardson reports: A state judge threw out a portion of a Seattle ordinance requiring garbage collectors to snoop through residents’ trash in search of food waste, calling the provision unconstitutional.

“Seattle can’t place its composting goals over the privacy rights of its residents.”

King County Superior Court Judge Beth M. Andrus issued an injunction against the garbage inspections but not Seattle’s residential food-waste ban, which forbids throwing away food scraps and compostable paper.

“A clear message has been sent to Seattle public officials: Recycling and other environmental initiatives can’t be pursued in a way that treats people’s freedoms as disposable.”

“This ruling does not prohibit the city from banning food waste and compostable paper in SPU-provided garbage cans,” the 14-page decision said, referring to the Seattle Public Utilities. “It merely renders invalid the provisions of the ordinance and rule that authorize a warrantless search of residents’ garbage cans when there is no applicable exception to the warrant requirement, such as the existence of prohibited items in plain view.”

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Under the 2015 ordinance, garbage collectors were required to determine by “visual inspection” whether more than 10 percent of a trash can’s contents were made up of recyclable items or food waste. Violators are subject to having their garbage cans tagged and fines of $1 per can for curbside collections or $50 per collection for multi-family units. Read the rest of this entry »


Smoke and Mirrors: Seattle Sales Tax

This week, the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), firearms retailers, and private gun owners filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, alleging that its new firearms and ammunition sales tax ordinance is illegal and unenforceable.

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“Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for ‘injuries due to accidents’ had a rate almost seventy-five times greater.  With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents.”

Earlier this month, Seattle passed the Firearm Tax and Ammunition Tax ordinance which imposes a new $25 sales tax on the retail sales of firearms, plus a per-round sales tax of two to five cents on ammunition.  The ordinance is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2016. A failure to pay the tax is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to 364 days, or both.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

A city report describes this as a “gun violence tax” that is estimated to generate revenues of $300,000 to $500,000 per year. The report adds, “[e]very effort funded by the revenues of this tax that reduces the probability of gun violence from taking place will save lives and money… Efforts funded by the gun violence tax that mitigate the public health, welfare, and safety impacts of gun violence will benefit this population.”

“In 2011, the Court of Appeals of Washington looked no further than the ‘plain language’ of the preemption statute before concluding that Seattle’s attempt to regulate the possession of firearms was unlawful. The complaint in the new lawsuit refers to this decision and states the City of Seattle is ‘not permitted to pass laws that target the sale of firearms and ammunition through any means.’”

The report fails to disclose any clear relationship between expected new tax receipts and a reduction in violence of any kind. The report asserts only that efforts funded by the tax which “reduce[] the probability of gun violence from taking place” will benefit Seattle residents, without identifying the nature of the “research, prevention and youth education and employment programs” or how these programs will work to reduce the “probability” of gun violence. (The report does confirm, though, that the City will be able “to track how much revenue is raised each year and analyze the programs to which that revenue is dedicated.”)

A group of local public school teachers from nearby schools use rubber training guns as they practice proper firearms handling during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida January 11, 2013. The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides. REUTERS/Brian Blanco (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS EDUCATION)

“Citizens testifying before the City Council meeting on the new tax included a recent victim of a violent felony who was ‘appalled’ that the City was enacting an illegal tax that would force law-abiding citizens to pay for the impact of gun violence committed by criminals.”

The ordinance itself cites a 2014 study funded by the City of Seattle which reported, among other things, King County hospitalization rates due to a firearm-related injury (“of any intent,” presumably including self-inflicted and accidental injuries in addition to persons who were injured as victims of crime), and hospitalizations for other reasons.

[Order Emily Miller’s book “Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

Hospitalizations due to overdoses, non-gun suicides, and non-gun assaults were far more prevalent than gun-related hospitalizations. Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for “injuries due to accidents” had a rate almost seventy-five times greater.  With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents. Read the rest of this entry »


Legally Unenforceable: Seattle’s Self-Inflicted ‘Gun Violence Tax’ Draws NRA Lawsuit

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Seattle’s tax, which would take effect in January, would add $25 to the price of each firearm sold in the city.

SEATTLE (AP) — Gene Johnson reports: Three gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, sued the city of Seattle on Monday over its adoption of a so-called “gun violence tax,” a tax on firearms and ammunition designed to help offset
the financial toll of gun violence.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

The complaint was filed Monday in King County Superior Court by the NRA, the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, along with two gun owners and two gun shops. It called the tax legally unenforceable because Washington state prohibits local governments from adopting laws related to firearms unless those local ordinances are specifically authorized by the state.

“The ordinance serves only as a piece of propaganda, because the ordinance’s mandates are legally unenforceable. The state of Washington has the exclusive right to regulate the sale of firearms in Washington, and cities may not enact local laws or regulations related to the sale of firearms.”

“The ordinance serves only as a piece of propaganda, because the ordinance’s mandates are legally unenforceable,” the lawsuit said. “The state of Washington has the exclusive right to regulate the sale of firearms in Washington, and cities may not enact local laws or regulations related to the sale of firearms.”

[Order Emily Miller’s book “Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved the tax this month, along with a companion measure requiring gun owners to file reports if their weapons are stolen or lost. The lawsuit does not challenge the reporting requirements. City Attorney Pete Holmes has argued that the gun-violence tax falls squarely under Seattle’s taxing authority. Read the rest of this entry »


Bonesteel v. City of Seattle: Pacific Legal Foundation Sues Seattle Bureaucrats Who Want to Snoop Through Your Trashcans

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“A person has a legitimate expectation that the contents of his or her garbage cans will remain private and free from government inspection.”

PLF sued the City of Seattle this morning in Bonesteel v. City of Seattle to challenge sweeping surveillance of residents and businesses. The City’s zeal for bumping its recycling rate bypassed constitutional boundaries when Seattle decided to have trash collectors and inspectors poke around for compostable contraband, such as pizza crusts, chicken bones, or those evil red velvet cakes.

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Authorized? The Pacific Legal Foundation doesn’t think so.

The Washington State Constitution contains a robust right to privacy. The state Supreme Court has held that the state’s privacy right prohibits trash inspections without suspicion or a warrant. PLF’s complaint also challenges the composting mandate’s failure to provide any avenue to challenge the trash collector’s estimate that you throw out too much food. Regardless of its intentions, Seattle needs a reminder that composting doesn’t trump the Constitution.

“The law makes garbage collectors the judges and the juries.”

— Brian Hodges, Pacific Legal Foundation’s principal attorney

Check out the video below and the case web page to learn more.

For the Seattle Times reports:

Privacy advocates say Seattle is violating residents’ privacy “on a massive scale” by having garbage haulers look through people’s trash to make sure food scraps are going into the yard waste, not the garbage.

Privacy advocates say Seattle is violating residents’ privacy “on a massive scale” by having garbage haulers look through people’s trash to make sure food scraps are going into the yard waste, not the garbage.

A group of privacy advocates is suing the city of Seattle, arguing that having garbage collectors look through people’s trash — to make sure food scraps aren’t going into the garbage — “violates privacy rights on a massive scale.”

“A person has a legitimate expectation that the contents of his or her garbage cans will remain private and free from government inspection,” argues the lawsuit filed Thursday in King County Superior Court by the Pacific Legal Foundation.

Since January, Seattle residents have been directed to place food scraps in the same bins as their yard waste, so that the material can be composted, instead of into garbage cans, where it would end up in a landfill. Read the rest of this entry »


Gifts & Affection: ‘Teacher Of The Year’ Darcy Smith Accused Of Raping 14-Year Old Student

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SeaTac, Wash. (CBS SEATTLE) – A Highline School District elementary teacher, previously named “Teacher of the Year” in the region, is facing child rape charges from allegations she sexually abused a former student living in her home.

“The boy, now 19, told police that Smith, his sixth grade teacher, brought him into her home when he was 12 and began having sexual relations with him…He claims Smith showered him with gifts and affection, but that abuse intensified when Smith drank.”

King County prosecutors have charged Darcy M. Smith, 41, with three counts of child rape, alleging that she brought a boy in to live at her home when he was 12 years old and started to sexually abuse him the following year in 2008, KOMO-TV reports. The boy told police they first had sex when he was 14 and the abuse continued until he moved out of Smith’s Renton home at age 18.

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“Smith told him not to say anything and made him promise not to tell . . . (she) said she would go to jail and be in big trouble if he told,” police said in charging papers. He “said he was a boy, thought it was cool.”

Court documents suggest Smith, who taught most recently at McMicken Heights Elementary School, was actively engaging in sexual misconduct with the boy when she was named regional teacher of the year in 2012.

[Also see –  Darcy Smith, Elementary School Teacher, Charged with Child Rape for Allegedly Having Sex a Former Student, Starting When He Was 14]

[Highline teacher charged with rape of former student Highline Times]

[Suddenly, We’re Discovering That Sexual Abuse of Boys by Women Is Vastly More Common Than Previously… pjmedia.com]

[Teacher Of The Year Allegedly Raped 14-Year-Old Student The Inquisitr]

The boy was allegedly living with Smith with his mother’s permission as her home was closer to the hospital in which he was recuperating from an injury.

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“There is a lot more to this story than is contained in the cursory investigation that was done prior to the filing of these charges. Darcy looks forward to vigorously defending herself and to being exonerated.”

Smith’s attorney, Brad Meryhew, tells KOMO that she denies the allegations and has maintained her innocence since investigators first contacted her regarding the “false allegations.” In a recorded interview with investigators, Merhew says detectives failed to interview Smith’s husband or any others who would have been present in the home during the young boy’s alleged time living there. Read the rest of this entry »