Wild night out leads to 6-month suspension for ex-prosecutor

Chris Dickinson’s troubles began with a night of heavy drinking during a state attorney’s conference.

Christopher Dickinson in Chelan County District Court in Nov. 2018. (Jefferson Robbins/iFiber One News, file)

Christopher Dickinson in Chelan County District Court in Nov. 2018. (Jefferson Robbins/iFiber One News, file)

EVERETT — A former Snohomish County deputy prosecutor has had his license to practice law suspended for six months, after he was convicted of reckless driving and misdemeanor assault during a night of heavy drinking at a 2018 attorney conference.

Chris Dickinson, 57, was a longtime deputy prosecutor until he was fired in July of 2018. The Arlington lawyer worked in the county office for 29 years.

A formal notice of the suspension was filed Thursday, according to Washington State Bar Association’s Disciplinary Board records.

Dickinson and the bar association’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel had agreed to a three-month suspension recommendation in October. The Washington State Supreme Court reviewed the case and decided that was not enough. It doubled the suspension to six months, according to a Jan. 21 court order.

It did so at the recommendation of the bar association disciplinary board, which found that a three-month suspension “would result in a manifest injustice given the pattern of misconduct.”

Dickinson’s legal troubles stem from his intoxicated behavior that began at an after-hours function in June 2018, while attending a conference sponsored by the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in Chelan.

He acknowledged in bar association paperwork that he squeezed the breast of a coworker and reached around her waist while trying to pull her onto his lap.

He also admitted giving false statements to Chelan police early the next morning about how he ended up parked in front of a police substation. He was there to pick up his girlfriend who had been arrested for investigation of operating a boat while under the influence. He told deputies at the time that he had not driven the car, but acknowledged later that he had. His blood-alcohol level was measured at nearly twice the legal limit.

Dickinson later pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree assault and one count of reckless driving. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all but four days suspended. He also was given two years probation and was ordered to complete an alcohol and drug assessment, as well as a sexual deviancy evaluation.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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