Councilman-elect to face felony forgery charges

By Scott North

Herald Writer

EVERETT – For Tom Grady of Marysville, it is no longer a question of if, but when, he will face felony charges.

Snohomish County prosecutors today said Grady, who was recently elected to a Marysville City Council seat, has been rejected as a candidate for a special program for first-time, non-violent offenders. That option could have spared him from risking a felony forgery conviction.

Within the next two weeks Grady, 46, will be charged in Snohomish County Superior Court, officials said. If convicted, he could no longer hold public office, let alone vote.

“We will charge him,” Prosecuting Attorney Jim Krider said.

The decision was announced the day Grady was scheduled to be sworn in for a four-year term on the city council. The swearing-in ceremony was announced late Friday by Mayor Dave Weiser. It comes about three weeks before Grady was scheduled to take office.

Grady in November won his council seat by 161 votes in a hard-fought election contest with incumbent council member NormaJean Dierck.

Late last month, county officials revealed that Grady has since March been the focus of a criminal investigation into allegations that he 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 after he was confronted by store officials regarding missing money. Grady submitted a written apology, denying he took the money while also taking responsibility for what he described as a “cover-up,” documents show.

If accepted for the pre-prosecution diversion program, Grady would have been required to admit wrongdoing and repay the missing money. Grady was screened as a diversion candidate, but prosecutors determined he was “inappropriate for the program,” said Jim Townsend, the county’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor.

Townsend declined to explain why Grady did not qualify. One factor that is always considered is the amount of money missing and the probability that the defendant can make restitution within three years, Townsend said.

Grady will be charged within the next two weeks, Townsend said.

“Right now, the potential exists for several felony forgery counts,” he said.

Grady could not immediately be reached for comment. His attorney also was not immediately available for comment.

Krider said his office has received numerous phone calls and letters urging him to somehow become involved in influencing whether Grady takes office.

The prosecutor said that is not his responsibility and that whether Grady serves or not “is the business of the city of Marysville and Mr. Grady, not to be interfered with by Snohomish County.”

The decision to prosecute Grady for forgery reflects solely on the evidence of the man’s alleged wrongdoing, not the politics of a city, Krider said.

At the same time, he said, deputy prosecutors have been instructed to pursue the case against Grady as promptly as possible while still insuring the defendant receives due process. Once charges are filed, prosecutors will resist trial continuances.

“There is a public interest to be served, one way or another” in having the case resolved quickly, Krider said.

You can call Herald Writer Scott North at 425-339-3431

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

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