‘Implausible’ Gold Bar lawsuit gets tossed

SEATTLE — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by a Gold Bar woman who alleged people working for local governments in Snohomish County have for years conspired to violate her rights.

Anne Block brought the lawsuit in 2014, naming as defendants the county, Gold Bar and more than a dozen current or former government officials.

In a 19-page ruling filed July 8, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones characterized Block’s assertions as “implausible,” “incomprehensible,” or involving activities that she may not appreciate, but aren’t violations of federal law.

When she first filed the lawsuit, Block alleged that she’d become the target of various misdeeds by Gold Bar and county officials after making a series of records requests and writing numerous blog posts. Much of her activities focused on the public and personal life of a former Gold Bar mayor and, later, that woman’s husband, John Pennington, who heads up the county’s Department of Emergency Management.

The Penningtons eventually brought a complaint against Block, who is an attorney. The Washington State Bar Association suspended her law license as part of an ongoing disciplinary investigation. In response, Block attempted to expand her federal lawsuit to include the bar association and its disciplinary officials.

The judge refused to allow Block to take that step. He put the case on hold months ago, and told Block that she must address several deficiencies in her complaint. For example, he wanted Block to present details to support claims against a former aide to Aaron Reardon, who records show engaged in shadowy online harassment of Block and others he considered the former county executive’s enemies.

Instead, Block opted to submit paperwork asserting that she is the focus of racketeering by people in government and the legal establishment.

“The court concludes that Ms. Block will not state claims even if given another opportunity to amend the complaint and the court therefore declines to grant her another opportunity,” Jones wrote.

Block already has challenged the decision in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Because she took that step, county prosecutors say it is premature to seek recovery of public funds spent on the case. In February, Block launched a failed attempt to recall Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe, alleging he’d engaged in misfeasance for how he responded to her federal lawsuit.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews

Talk to us

More in Local News

PUD Generation Senior Manager Brad Spangler points out a megawatt meter for one of two generators that provide power to the City of Everett at the Henry M. Jackson Hydroelectric Project on Friday, July 23, 2021 in Sultan, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How the PUD kept things humming during the record heat wave

The public utility has been bracing for the impacts of climate change for more than a decade.

Snohomish County PUD's innovative solar battery powered microgrid batteries sit in their enclosed units during a visit by Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in Arlington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
PUD’s experimental solar power microgrid is ready to go live

The site in Arlington will be a test lab of ideas, as the PUD figures out the future of electricity.

c
AP College Board honors two Kamiak teachers

Kamiak High School Career and Technical Education teachers Sean Moore and Nate… Continue reading

Kids' Oasis, a wooden castle playground adjacent to Mount Pilchuck Elementary School, is demolished on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Nothing lasts forever — Lake Stevens’ castle playground leveled

When it was built in 1992, Kids’ Oasis at Mount Pilchuck Elementary was unlike anything else.

Officials urge vaccinations as Delta variant takes root

Dr. Chris Spitters recommends everyone, even the vaccinated, mask up in public indoor spaces.

Mountlake Terrace man dies in motorcycle crash in Snohomish

Authorities did not believe other cars were involved in the crash. The man was in his 60s.

Snohomish, other Washington counties recommend masks indoors

A surge in COVID-19 cases triggered the statement by health officials throughout the state.

L-R: Steve Dana, Karen Guzak, Tabitha Baty.
Big difference in contests for two Snohomish council seats

Incumbent Dana faces ex-council colleague Guzak and activist Baty as 3 first-timers vie for other seat

L-R: John Kartak, Linda Redmon, Sam King.
Council president and Army veteran look to unseat Kartak

Incumbent Mayor John Kartak and his challengers have different goals for the city.

Most Read