Appellate court reinstates $9 million award to ex-officer

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A federal appellate court has reinstated a $9 million jury award to a former Vancouver police officer who wrongly convicted of sexual abuse.

The Columbian reports that Clyde Spencer spent nearly two decades in prison before then-Gov. Gary Locke commuted his sentence in 2004. All charges were later dropped against him.

He sued and at a civil trial in 2014, a jury in Tacoma awarded him $9 million in damages. But a federal judge later threw out the decision.

On Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the award.

Spencer had entered an Alford plea in 1985 to sexually abusing his two children and a stepson.

Spencer sued in 2011, alleging a Clark County detective deliberately fabricated evidence against him. The jury found she violated Spencer’s constitutional right to due process by fabricating police reports. It also found that her supervisor had an affair with Spencer’s wife and was liable.

Canadian prime minister meets with Washington governor

SEATTLE (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee met to discuss their close ties on topics ranging from trade to climate.

The two briefly met with local media Thursday before a private meeting at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel.

The prime minister arrived in the state Wednesday to attend and speak at Microsoft’s CEO Summit in Redmond. The event, which was closed to the public and media, was focused on topics related to cybersecurity and the race to space. Trudeau’s office said he is the first sitting head of government or state to be invited to address the summit, and was there to promote Canada’s technology industry.

Inslee said that Washington state and Canada share more than a common border, and Trudeau said they are “strongly engaged on issues of climate change, issues of openness to trade, leadership on refugees.”

‘Deadliest Catch’ star arrested after alleged assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen was arrested after he allegedly spat on an Uber driver in Seattle and kicked and dented the driver’s car upon learning he couldn’t pay cash for his ride home.

The Seattle Times reports the 51-year-old had been in the Ballard neighborhood celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day with family and was arrested early Thursday at his Shoreline home.

Police reports say when officers confronted Hansen, he appeared “obviously intoxicated,” denied the altercation happened and initially resisted arrest.

King County Jail records show Hansen was booked in connection with misdemeanor assault and property destruction charges. He was released after posting $2,000 bail Thursday, and is set to be arraigned Saturday.

In a statement released through a publicist, Hansen said he was “terribly sorry” for his behavior and was “very embarrassed” by it.

Three hurt after Ferris wheel fall

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. (AP) — Two women and a 7-year-old boy are recovering after falling from a Ferris wheel in Washington state.

KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Thursday evening in Port Townsend during the town’s annual Rhododendron Festival.

A witness told rescue officials that a Ferris wheel cart flopping upside down, ejecting the three people.

The two women and the boy fell 15 to 18 feet and landed on the ride’s metal flooring. Officials say a 59-year-old woman was in critical condition, but is expected to recover. The injuries to the other woman and the boy weren’t life-threatening.

The ride was shut down and cordoned off for an investigation.

The festival says authorities and the company that owns the carnival equipment are investigating.

Lawyer for Seattle mayor’s accuser seeking change of venue

SEATTLE (AP) — Lawyers for the man suing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for alleged sexual abuse are requesting to have the case moved outside Seattle and want sanctions imposed on Murray’s lawyer for “concocting and spreading a false narrative” that their law firm is anti-gay.

The Seattle Times reports Lincoln Beauregard, the Seattle attorney who represents Murray’s accuser, Delvonn Heckard, filed the motion Thursday.

Beauregard contends that the mayor and his legal team, headed by Robert Sulkin, “have tainted the possibility of hosting a fair trial in King County.”

The motion also requests that the court sanction Sulkin’s legal team at least $5,000 for ethics violations.

Sulkin didn’t immediately respond to messages left for him.

Beauregard filed a lawsuit in April claiming Murray paid Heckard for sex when he was a teenage dropout in the 1980s. Murray has denied the allegations, saying they are politically motivated.

Doctors win $33 million from Washington clinic

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The Everett Clinic has paid a group of its former doctors more than $33 million in a dispute about its sale to DaVita HealthCare.

The Daily Herald reports 31 doctors contended that the clinic owed them payment as shareholders after DaVita purchased the independent medical group last year.

Court documents show the two sides agreed to binding arbitration, which came back in favor of the doctors.

The Everett Clinic declined to comment on the judgment, saying through a spokeswoman that the clinic doesn’t speak on legal matters.

DaVita, which runs more than 2,000 kidney dialysis centers in the U.S., bought The clinic last year for $405 million.

Washington residents rally against county decision-making

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Demonstrators gathered in Washington on Tuesday to raise awareness against County Council decisions they say threaten high-paying jobs, property values and farming.

The Bellingham Herald reports about 300 people gathered for the rally called, “Wake Up Whatcom County.”

Organizers had said they wanted council members to listen to their voices, to recognize their contributions to the economy and to balance environmental and economic issues.

Particular concerns included the council’s decision to restrict new rural developments that rely on domestic wells because of a state Supreme Court decision.

Assessor Keith Willnauer estimates that if the state Legislature doesn’t provide a fix for the decision, property values on more than 3,400 parcels in Whatcom County could drop by up to $186 million.