Judge resigns, faces charge of drunken driving

Herald staff

LAKEWOOD — A municipal court judge has resigned after being charged with drunken driving.

Judge Carolyn Lake, 42, resigned Tuesday.

"I have agonized over my course of action as a result of the charge," Lake wrote in a letter to Mayor Bill Harrison.

Legal ethics experts told her resigning simply because she was charged with a crime wasn’t necessary, Lake said. But she said the "gravity of the situation" prompted her to resign "with great regret, but with confidence that it is the right thing to do."

Lake pleaded innocent to driving under the influence Wednesday in Pierce County District Court.

She was charged last month after rear-ending another car on Interstate 5 on Sept 9. Two breath tests showed she had a blood-alcohol level of .116 percent and .112 percent, prosecutors said. The legal intoxication threshold in Washington state is a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent.

  • Fewer city jobs require drug testing: The city’s drug testing policy for prospective employees has been sharply reduced following a ruling by the state Court of Appeals. City job seekers now must give urine samples only if they are in line for jobs as police officers, firefighters, Municipal Court marshals or positions requiring a commercial truck driver’s license, said Dean Barnes, employment services director for the city’s personnel division. Under the previous city policy, applicants for about half of all city jobs were tested, including those for cashiers, meter readers and tennis instructors. The change was announced Tuesday, the day after the appeals court ruled in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that the old policy violated citizens’ rights to privacy. The lawsuit did not seek to end drug tests for public safety employees, such as police officers, firefighters or bus drivers. City officials defended the old requirements as part of a zero-tolerance policy toward drugs that helped reduce sick time and accidents.

  • Family feuds over politics: Last year King County councilman David W. Irons Jr. had a falling out with his sister and their parents over politics. Now sheriff’s deputies are investigating the slashing of tires on his family’s vehicles by a man who fled in a sports utility vehicle registered to the politician’s sister, Di Irons. "I was just flabbergasted," Irons said Tuesday. Deputy John Urquhart said investigators have interviewed someone who might have done it, but they lack sufficient evidence to make an arrest. Irons, a Republican, said he didn’t want to press charges. His sister, running for the state House as a Democrat, didn’t return calls Tuesday. Irons and Urquhart said the tire-slashing of a minivan and an SUV was noticed early Saturday morning by a man who was visiting his parents across the street. The witness jotted down the license number of the getaway Toyota 4Runner and called Irons, who in turn notified the sheriff’s office, and the vehicle was traced to Di Irons. On Tuesday, though, the witness said he doubted he could identify the tire-slasher.

  • FBI investigate Tylonol PM tampering: The FBI is investigating a Portland woman’s claims that the bottle of Tylenol PM she bought had been tampered with. Christine Jenkins told KGW-TV that she purchased the bottle of pills on Sunday at the Fred Meyer store in the Hawthorne area. She said the plastic seal was missing from the top and the silver seal under the cap was punctured. Jenkins found only eight regular Tylenol pills in the bottle. There were 12 other large capsules labeled "X4175" and filled with white powder. Police on Monday asked the FBI to help in the investigation. The pills will be tested to see when and how the medication was altered. Fred Meyer is conducting an internal investigation. It has pulled the product from the shelves. In 1982, seven people in the Chicago area died after taking Tylenol laced with cyanide. The incident prompted nationwide concern. No arrests were ever made in the case.

  • President to visit Oregon on Oct. 15: President Clinton will travel to Oregon on Oct. 15 to attend a fund-raising event for U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley and possibly take part in other events, Hooley’s campaign office said Wednesday. The Hooley fund-raiser will be held in Portland, but other details of the president’s visit are still are being worked out, Hooley campaign manager Willie Smith said. It will be the second time Clinton has appeared at an Oregon money-raising event for Hooley, who is seeking re-election in the mid-Willamette Valley’s 5th District. In June 1998, the president attended a downtown Portland fund raiser that brought in $85,000 for Hooley. During that trip, Clinton also traveled to Springfield to console victims of the Thurston High School shootings and he delivered the commencement address for Portland State University.
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