Mark Lindquist is an American lawyer and author. Lindquist is the elected Prosecuting Attorney in Pierce County, Washington.
Lindquist was appointed Prosecuting Attorney in 2009, elected in 2010, and re-elected in 2014.
Based on his job performance in office, The Seattle Times, Washington State's largest newspaper, called on Lindquist to resign.
In 2015, an Associated Press review of all Washington cases that were reversed on appeal since 2012 because of prosecutorial misconduct found that 17 of the 30 cases were in Pierce County. In a ruling throwing out the conviction of Darcus Allen, getaway car driver of Maurice Clemmons, the Washington Supreme Court determined the prosecutor "committed prejudicial misconduct" that the Court found "particularly grievous".
A judge authorized a recall petition to remove Lindquist by finding adequate grounds to believe the prosecutor abused his authority by engaging in a vindictive prosecution of a Pierce County woman, withholding evidence, and obstructing justice.
In response to two detailed whistleblower complaints, Pierce County hired an outside investigator. The investigator interviewed 65 witnesses and examined 22 source documents. The 65-page report concluded:
- Lindquist retaliates against employees who criticize him.
- Lindquist urged "no good deals" for a group of defense attorneys who were critical of him.
- Lindquist said, according to several witnesses, that the 2009 Lakewood shooting of four police officers was worth "$100,000 of free publicity" for his pending re-election campaign.
Lindquist's statements on Nancy Grace, a national television program, about the accused during a trial in progress caused the Washington State Bar Association Office of Disciplinary Counsel to schedule a disciplinary hearing, which could result in a suspension of his law license.
Failed effort to withhold public records
The Washington Supreme Court ruled 9-0 against Lindquist in August 2015, concluding that public officials can’t claim a blanket privacy exemption for public records created on personal devices. The court’s precedent-setting decision also set guidelines for examining such records. The California state Supreme Court recently referenced the Washington ruling in a similar case.
After Lindquist and Pierce County failed to persuade the state Supreme Court that text messages on his personal telephone could not be public records, a Superior Court judge determined that nine of the disputed messages are public records. Pierce County taxpayers have spent over one million dollars in legal fees and fines to hide nine text messages Lindquist called "trivial". The text messages could also become evidence in a civil suit where a sheriff claims Lindquist retaliated against her for opposing his candidacy in an election. This was the second time a Superior Court Judge ruling contradicted Lindquist's sworn statement that messages on his phone did not pertain to official business.
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He is the author of four published novels published by Simon & Schuster.
- "Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist should resign". The Seattle Times.
- "Prosecutor misconduct blamed in many reversed cases in Pierce County". The Seattle Times.
- "Recall petition against Mark Lindquist can move forward, judge says". Tacoma News Tribune.
- "Report of Investigation" (PDF). Sebris Busto James.
- "State bar recommends disciplinary hearing for Lindquist over murder-trial TV appearance". Tacoma News Tribune.
- "Lindquist text message case: Still going, defense bills exceed $584,000". Tacoma News Tribune.
- "Judge rules against prosecutor in expensive public-records case". KIRO 7 News, 19 Jan 2018.
- "Judge orders Pierce County to pay $118,000 in Lindquist text message case". Tacome News Tribune.