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Published: Friday, March 12, 2010, 4:46 p.m.

Charges filed against former Snohomish County planning director

EVERETT — Snohomish County's former planning director Craig Ladiser is now facing two misdemeanor charges for a drunken incident June 24 on a Redmond-area golf course.
The most serious charge, fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, alleges Ladiser rubbed his penis against the leg of a woman who works as a lobbyist for the building industry. Ladiser also is charged with indecent exposure.
Ladiser, 59, is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Monday in King County Superior Court, King County prosecutor's spokesman Dan Donohoe said.
"We are pleased that Mr. Ladiser is being held accountable for his actions and we are pleased that the charges that are being brought include assault," said the woman's attorney, Beth Terrell of Seattle.
Ladiser did more than simply drop his pants and expose himself, "He sexually assaulted her," she said.
King County prosecutors had for two months been considering the results of a King County Sheriff's Office investigation into what Ladiser did at the Golf Club at Redmond Ridge last summer.
The police began investigating Oct. 26, after the woman formally reported what had happened with Ladiser. She'd previously informed Snohomish County officials, who placed Ladiser on leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
In September, a King County judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to grant the woman a sexual assault protection order against Ladiser.
The ruling was based in part on the woman's testimony in court that Ladiser had done more than expose himself while people were joking about the golf tees they were using.
In court pleadings, Ladiser's attorney conceded that the exposure occurred, but denied there was physical contact with the woman or sexual motivation.
To support the argument, Ladiser's lawyer presented the results of an investigation conducted by another attorney -- this one hired by Snohomish County -- who suggested sexual contact may not have happened. That lawyer's investigation cost Snohomish County taxpayer's $12,000.
County officials cited its findings about Ladiser's drunken misconduct as grounds to fire him last summer from his $150,000 a year job.

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