GOLD BAR — A Snohomish County lawyer best known for sweeping demands for public records and lengthy legal battles with local government officials has been disbarred by order of the state Supreme Court.
Anne Block’s disbarment order was signed July 8 by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen. It became effective Friday.
Disbarment for Block was recommended by the disciplinary board for the Washington State Bar Association after an investigation and series of hearings that began three years ago.
The bar association in May 2013 fielded a complaint from John Pennington, who then was director of the county’s Department of Emergency Management. He accused Block of engaging in harassment and intimidation of his family, including his wife, a former Gold Bar mayor.
Block in December 2013 filed paperwork stating that she was resigning from the bar association. She also asserted in court papers that her conduct was protected and her records immune from subpoena by bar association investigators because she operates a blog, the Gold Bar Reporter.
The bar association said Block could not resign while under investigation. They held that her response to the investigation violated the rules of professional conduct for attorneys, and were grounds for disbarment.
Block brought a 2014 federal lawsuit naming as defendants the county, Gold Bar and more than a dozen current or former government officials. She alleged they’d conspired for years to violate her rights.
She alleged she’d become the target for mistreatment by Gold Bar and county officials after making a series of records requests and writing numerous blog posts.
A U.S. District Court judge last summer tossed out Block’s lawsuit, characterizing her assertions as “implausible,” “incomprehensible,” or involving activities that Block may not appreciate, but weren’t violations of federal law.
Undeterred, Block in December leveled the same allegations in another lawsuit, which added the bar association and many of those involved in the disciplinary action as defendants.
That litigation met with similar results. Block is now pursuing appeals.