Two from county to lead major state offices

OLYMPIA — Gov.-elect Jay Inslee has hired a former Lake Stevens lawmaker and boat building executive to pilot one of the state’s largest and most complex departments.

Kevin Quigley will be the new secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, Inslee said last week.

Inslee also named Dale Peinecke, president and chief executive officer of Giddens Industries in Everett, an aerospace supplier, as director of the Employment Security Department.

Both jobs are cabinet positions. Quigley will earn $158,160 while Peinecke will make $147,153, according to information from Inslee’s transition team.

Quigley, 51, will be assuming control of the state’s massive social services agency which serves 2.3 million people a year.

Among its programs are those that help low-income people meet basic needs, assist disabled individuals find work and provide mental health treatment for civilly committed sex offenders. Its Children’s Administration is responsible for overseeing the state’s foster care system and investigating suspected child abuse and neglect.

Quigley, who is not a social worker by training, said he is looking to apply skills he learned in the private sector to improve the quality of service the agency delivers.

“I may never have a bigger opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives,” he said Thursday.

Quigley was president of the Everett Shipyard which was acquired by Todd Shipyards and, in turn, purchased by Vigor Industrial. In 2011, he was named the head of U.S. Fab, a Vigor subsidiary. He said he left the firm in April.

Quigley is a very familiar name in Snohomish County politics. His wife, Suzanne, is a Lake Stevens city councilwoman and he served as a Democrat in the state Senate for one term, from 1993-1997.

In 1996, he ran for Congress and narrowly lost to Republican Jack Metcalf. In 2003, he ran for Snohomish County executive and lost in a heated primary to fellow Democrat and eventual winner Aaron Reardon.

In that race, Quigley took heat for a flier accusing Reardon of lying and taking illegal campaign contributions, charges he later backpedaled from.

In 1995, as a state senator, the Legislative Ethics Board reprimanded Quigley for a memo he sent to colleagues at Perkins Coie law firm in Seattle where he worked. The note, written on company letterhead, offered to introduce clients to key legislators.

Peinecke is a former chairman of the Workforce Development Council of Snohomish County which is focused on increasing job training in a number of fields, including aerospace.

He’ll be taking charge of the agency that tracks employment and unemployment trends and administers the state’s unemployment insurance system.

Also Thursday, Inslee announced the hirings of Joel Sacks to lead the Department of Labor &Industries, Marcie Frost to head up the Department of Retirement Systems, and Alfie Alvarado-Ramos to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

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