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Ex-planning director gets 1-year suspended sentence

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By Noah Haglund
Herald Writer
@NWHaglund
Published:
SEATTLE -- Snohomish County's former planning director must keep out of trouble for two years or he could spend significant time in jail.
Craig Ladiser received a suspended one-year sentence this afternoon for his drunken misconduct on a King County golf course last year.
He pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to one count each of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and indecent exposure. Both are misdemeanors. The offenses potentially carried up to a year in the county jail.
The charges stem from Ladiser, now 60, exposing himself and rubbing his bare genitals against a woman's leg during a June 2009 golf tournament in Redmond.
Ladiser entered a so-called Alford plea, meaning he was not admitting guilt but acknowledging a jury would likely convict him as charged. He maintained he was too intoxicated to remember what happened.
Ladiser today told King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque that he still can't remember what happened. He stopped short of apologizing.
"The amount of public awareness this has created has affected everybody I know," Ladiser said.
Under terms of the sentence, Ladiser must submit quarterly reports to the court on his ongoing treatment for alcoholism. He also must stay out of trouble for two years or he could be ordered to serve his suspended sentences of one year for the assault and three months for the indecent exposure.
The woman Ladiser assaulted is a building-industry lobbyist. The golf tournament was hosted by her employer, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties. Ladiser was playing as a guest of the builders group.
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon fired Ladiser about two months later, after conducting an investigation. King County authorities charged Ladiser in March after the woman asked detectives there to investigate.
The planning department remained without a permanent director for a year. In August, the county hired Stevens County land services director Clay White to take over the top planning job. He was scheduled to begin this month.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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