North Bend back on list for sex-offender house

NORTH BEND - A site near North Bend is back on the list of candidates for a sex-offender facility, a judge ruled last week.

North Bend rejoins a list of three other sites under consideration: Peasley Canyon near Auburn, Orillia Road near Kent, and an industrial site in South Seattle.

"We are disappointed, but not surprised by the court ruling," said Vince Lombardi, attorney for the North Bend opponents of the halfway house. "If the state picks North Bend next week we will proceed" with the group's lawsuit to block the sex-offender facility in North Bend.

The state Department of Social and Health Services - under federal court order to provide community-based transitional housing for sexual predators - is expected to make its final decision Sept. 10 on where to locate the halfway house.

The city of Seattle and the Peasley Canyon citizens filed a motion last month in King County Superior Court to get North Bend back on the list. The motion was filed in response to an earlier court ruling - stemming from a missed deadline by the Attorney General's Office - which barred North Bend from consideration.

On Sept. 5, King County Superior Court Judge Douglass A. North granted their motion to vacate the earlier decision.

"This is a huge victory because it puts North Bend back on the list," said Yvonne Ward, attorney for Concerned Citizens.

"We truly had to go in and do the state's job" Ward said, referring to the attorney general's decision not to ask a judge to vacate the default injunction - which North Bend won when the attorney general missed the deadline.

Senior assistant attorney general Bill Williams said the state is pleased with Friday's decision to vacate the default judgment, despite the state's earlier stance that Seattle and Concerned Citizens had no business intervening in North Bend's lawsuit against the state.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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