Controversial Pierce County official fails in re-election bid



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Posted on August 8, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 8 at 6:54 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- Dale Washam survived a recall effort and ethics investigations, but he couldn’t survive Tuesday’s primary.

Pierce County’s embattled assessor-treasurer did not qualify for the November ballot.

“We are screaming at the top of our lungs, there’s a lot of ‘yippee’s’ today,” said Robin Farris, who headed up the campaign to recall Washam in 2011.

“I’m feeling relieved he’s going to be leaving,” said Farris.

Her recall effort fell about a thousand votes short of qualifying for the November 2011 ballot. Farris thought she and fellow critics had plenty of reasons to get Washam out of office.

Following six separate complaints, investigators found Washam retaliated against employees he didn’t agree with and used county resources for campaign purposes.

Pierce County paid out $1.5 million to settle claims made by past and current employees.

On Wednesday former Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma, who worked on the recall campaign, said Washam should step down from office.

Baarsma said it was "remarkable" for an incumbent to only receive 10 percent of the vote in a primary.

Washam did not return calls from KING 5 News.