Concerns voiced over allegation

Marysville citizens and council members say they are upset that a man elected to the council could face criminal charges.

By Kate Reardon

Herald Writer

MARYSVILLE — Council member Suzanne Smith raised her right hand at Monday night’s council meeting and said she gives a "vote of no confidence in the mayor."

Mayor Dave Weiser refused comment. No other council members joined Smith in her dissent.

Smith’s bold statement given at the end of the council meeting came after five Marysville area residents expressed their concern to council members about the recent election of council member-elect Tom Grady.

Grady, who beat incumbent NormaJean Dierck by 161 votes, is being investigated for allegations of forgery at his former job as a manager at Albertson’s.

Smith said she, like others, had received a letter during the election season outlining allegations of wrongdoing by Grady. At that time, Smith said, she approached the mayor about the allegations and said she was told the mayor knew nothing about them.

Everett police have for about seven months been quietly investigating allegations that Grady admitted forging records to hide the still-unexplained disappearance of more than $38,000 from the Marysville Albertson’s store where he worked as a manager for 13 years.

The investigation began when Grady left his job in March after he was confronted by store officials and submitted a written apology, denying he took the money while also taking responsibility for what he described as a "cover-up,” documents show.

Snohomish County prosecutors on Wednesday announced they are giving Grady the opportunity to admit wrong-doing and repay the money under a special program for first-time, non-violent offenders. If Grady declines to participate he will face prosecution for felony forgery.

Smith said she has been "deeply troubled" by what she has learned in recent days through newspaper articles and her own research that indeed an investigation has been taking place, one that was referred by Weiser last spring to the city of Everett’s police department.

"I’m so upset, I have not the right words," she said at the council meeting. "I feel like I was lied to by our mayor. The mayor told me there was nothing to pursue."

She also expressed disappointment in the city’s police department, Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart and the city’s fire department, whose union endorsed Grady.

Earlier in the evening, resident Gary Way said he feels the wool was pulled over the public’s eyes during the most recent election.

Way, who has previously run for mayor, said he believes Grady should make the choice to not fill the council position come January when four new council members, including Grady, are to be sworn in.

Council member Jim Brennick said he agrees with the public in its concerns. However, he said people need to allow the process to handle the matter.

"We’re all entitled to our day in court," he said.

It could take up to a month before it becomes clear whether Grady will participate in the prosecution diversion program or face charges, Jim Townsend, the county’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor, said Monday.

Herald writer Scott North contributed to this report.

You can call Herald Writer Kate Reardon at 425-339-3455

or send e-mail to reardon@heraldnet.com.

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