Edmonds’ ex-official gets jail, service

By Jim Haley

Herald Writer

Tears welled in Christopher L. Davis’ eyes, and the former Edmonds City Council member had trouble reading a two-page statement to a judge Thursday as he asked for leniency after pleading guilty to two counts of forgery.

The father of two said he panicked and acted desperately to save a failing business when he used his computer to create thousands of dollars worth of bogus cashier’s checks and pay off more than $26,000 in state Department of Revenue delinquent tax debt.

Instead of straight jail time, Davis said he wanted to spend his time in community service, giving back to the community whose laws he broke.

Because he had no previous convictions, Davis faced only up to 90 days in jail for the felony convictions, according to state sentencing rules.

Deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson recommended 45 days.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Gerald Knight listened to both Matheson and Davis, imposing the 45 days and converting 25 of them to community service.

Davis said he wants to spend his community service hours working with the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club.

Davis, 35, was described as "a down-to-earth honest guy" by longtime friend Martin Floe, and a "model citizen" by his sister, Julie Davis.

Davis pulled no punches when he got his chance to speak to the judge.

"I committed a crime. I knew it, and I have to pay for it," he told Knight.

But he also told the judge no sentence imposed on him will equal the disgrace and humiliation he’s been through since he pleaded guilty to the forgery charges and stepped down in June from the city council.

He told the judge he faced a financial crisis at Edmonds Lumber and Hardware Co., a family business. At the same time, a family member was experiencing a personal crisis, he said.

"I made a choice to buy time, not for personal gain," he said.

Besides resigning from the council, he regrets his felony conviction will prevent him from voting or serving on a jury, rights that can someday be restored.

"I am truly and absolutely sorry and regretful for what I did," Davis told the judge.

You can call Herald Writer Jim Haley at 425-339-3447

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

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