State mistake a windfall for North Bend

NORTH BEND - A mistake by the states attorney general's office could make it nearly impossible to site a proposed sex-offender halfway house just outside the city limits near Grouse Ridge.

Last week a homeowners group from Federal Way, that is fighting to keep the proposed facility out of its neighborhood, announced that it found public documents showing the state attorney general's office missed a filing deadline in a lawsuit brought on by the city of North Bend in April against the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

By missing the filing deadline, explained North Bend City Attorney Mike Kenyon, the city wins a "default judgment" on the lawsuit that would prohibit the placing of the state mandated facility on a site near the Washington State Patrol Fire Training Academy off Exit 38.

Kenyon said that although the attorney general could ask the court to overrule the finding, the office would need to show that the error was due to "excusable neglect," a task he feels it could not do.

In 2000, the state attorney general's office missed a similar deadline, which cost taxpayers almost $19 million, Kenyon said. At that time, he added, Attorney General Christine Gregiore, who recently announced her candidacy for governor, said it would never happen again.

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

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