Remain Silent

City Attorney Tom Carr’s office is waging war on bars and clubs that support his political opponent Pete Holmes. Don't let them get away with it. (And don't forget to vote for Pete Holmes.)

Comments

1
Wow! Great article. Good work with this one Stranger.

There has been a clear and consistent set of attacks from Tom Carr toward music venues and nightclubs. The only thing you missed is:

1) The police department works for the Mayor, so why is some low level lawyer (Milnor) saying what the police are going to do?

2) Tom Carr has also targeted gay clubs specifically and tried to shut them down for having male nude posters on their walls inside the club.

It would be interesting to get the opinions of the Mayoral and Council candidates and about Carr's abuse of power. Also, I hope the next police chief doesn't let lawyers order his team around.

Vote Holmes, Holmes!

2
"Carr, reached by phone after the meeting, repeated Milnor’s claim that there is a problem with overservice and associated violence near the clubs on Capitol Hill. “I believe bars that serve alcohol and push people out on the street who are intoxicated bear some responsibility for what those people do, especially in circumstances of overservice,” he said."

What about the person who goes to the liquor store, buys a bottle, overserves themselves and commits a crime? Who is liable then Mr. Carr? The Liquor control board?
3
Milnor is an opionnated pistol. She fits working well with Carr.

About a year ago the issue of violence came up in a meeting, violence in bars. A speaker pointed out violence in gay bars is rare, and she did not want to accept that. She became the pseudo expert on violence in gay bars.

It was strange.

Carr and his side kick pistol need to go.

Vote Holms. I did.
4
is it against the law to be a drunk pedestrian (absent being threatening or walking into traffic or anything else that in itself is illegal)?

5
Great article.
6
Dom,

Why don't you guys file an emergency FOIA request TODAY vs. Carr's office, the SPD, and the Mayor's office for any and all communications related to such a sting, including all emails, phone records, and memos?

If this politically motivated, out and shame everyone involved.
7
Dominic Holden is about as credible and predictable a source on the City Attorney's race as Pox News is on the Obama administration.

8
Fantastic article! I voted Holmes already and will be encouraging all my friends, neighbors and family to do so as well.
9
Fantastic article Dominic. I hope that someone also reminds the gay community that Carr & Milnor have spent a lot of resources on harassing gar bars on the hill. I wonder if Milnor being an evangelical christian from Kent has anything to do with this.

Let's throw both Carr and Milnor out of office. We don't need no stinking homophobic, anti-fun, anti-nightlife folks running this city!

Pete Holmes has my vote!
10
How does Carr have this much power? And how does he have so much free time on the job to focus valuable taxpayer resources on a handful of gay bars and rock clubs? And maybe more important, why can't Mayor Nickels, who's given a lot of lip service to supporting the music community and has an office dedicated to it, reign Carr in? It seems our tax dollars and police time should be spent on real crime, rather than harassing music clubs. Punish criminals, not clubs and their patrons who are doing nothing wrong.
11
here is what I found in the RCW, which by my reading says the cops can give you ride home but you can refuse, and if you do, they have to leave you alone:

RCW 46.61.266

A law enforcement officer may offer to transport a pedestrian who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or any drug and who is walking or moving along or within the right-of-way of a public roadway, unless the pedestrian is to be taken into protective custody under RCW 70.96A.120. (which allows for transport for treatment)

The law enforcement officer offering to transport an intoxicated pedestrian under this section shall:

(1) Transport the intoxicated pedestrian to a safe place; or

(2) Release the intoxicated pedestrian to a competent person.

The law enforcement officer shall take no action if the pedestrian refuses this assistance. No suit or action may be commenced or prosecuted against the law enforcement officer, law enforcement agency, the state of Washington, or any political subdivision of the state for any act resulting from the refusal of the pedestrian to accept this assistance.

12
“I believe bars that serve alcohol and push people out on the street who are intoxicated bear"

Intoxicated bears! I knew it was bad but not like this. Tom Carr for mayor of the Cuff!
13
"People are being overserved, [Tienney Milnor] reportedly said, and then assaulting and robbing people when they leave the bars."

I was at that meeting of 40 club owners--AND security staff AND bartenders AND promoters from Capital Hill, I might add--and what she actually said was:

"People are being overserved,and then BEING assaulted and robbed by people after they leave the bars, often as they walk home through Cal Anderson park drunk & unawares."

I'm not saying she didn't go all law-and-order and threaten to, ya know, "bring the ol' hammer-o-justice down if things didn't change" -- just like every prosecuting attorney does when speaking publicly -- but at least get the main thrust of the quote right, guys!

(And you might tell people that walking through a dimly lit park when you're shit-face-blotto-ed might not be a great idea either... )
14
You were drinking at the Sixth Avenue Inn. Cop/Republican bar.
15
This is a great article, and that little tidbit on Carr's past explains a lot.
16
It should be noted, that the east precinct has been working closely with the business owners in capitol hill. Milnors approach completely blind sided everyone involved, not just the business owners. Its unfortunate for the SPD as Milnors actions actually undermine progressive work done by O'Neil and his team.

Fortunately i think the capitol hill bar owners are aware of this, and will continue to forge ahead with their relationship with the east precinct. Things can continue down the progressive co-exsisting relationship we have built, although it may be pending Milnors removal from our district.

We all want a safe and vibrant neighborhood.
17
Super awesome article.

It frustrates me that such businesses as Neumos/Moe Bar have to feel this kind of heat. Those guys have done so much for the community in providing an awesome space to experience, discover, and enjoy music.
18
you've been poached:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/lo…
19
@18, if your link was to Brodeur's column, it looks like she published it about 11 hours before Holden's, so you might be wrong about who did the poaching. Brodeur actually has been on this issue for a while. What's disheartening about her columns is the reader comments, look at her one Friday, yikes!, quite the opposite of what you get in The Stranger and hopefully not an indicator of the larger public opinion.
20
I don't see cops asking patrons leaving QWEST field where they have been drinking.... Tom Carr is a plague on our society and probably looks forward to leaving office so he can legally go work for the residential developers he has been during his term!
21

i was at the east precinct meeting on oct. 6. officer o'neill holds these meetings for the nightlife businesses up here on the hill. the meetings are informative for both the east precinct and our businesses due to our open conversation and exchange of information. there is an honest effort by the responsible business owners to work hand in hand with the east precinct in order to produce a safe, vibrant nightlife for our visitors. there is a tangible result to our meetings. a positive result that ends up in our nightlife being safer because of two sides working together.
tienney milnor most certainly changed the tone of our relationship at that meeting. she most certainly did threaten our licenses. repeat... she did threaten our licenses. she's not telling the truth by saying she didn't. she was out of line. now let's show a raise of hands to see who is in agreement. as a viable, responsible, motivated business owner it's a very scary thing for the city attorney come at you like she did.
i hope officer o'neill can rebuild what she's demolished.
26
@18, if your link was to Brodeur's column, it looks like she published it about 11 hours before Holden's, so you might be wrong about who did the poaching. Brodeur actually has been on this issue for a while. What's disheartening about her columns is the reader comments, look at her one Friday, yikes!, quite the opposite of what you get in The Stranger and hopefully not an indicator of the larger public opinion.
27
#20, I love your comment on Qwest Field. They would never dream of taking away football, soccer and baseball under this issue of drunks wondering the streets of SoDo.

Keep your paws off my rock n' roll, Jerks!
28
True enough about Moe's refusing service. I've never been so smoothly and sweetly 86'ed as the one time I overdid it there.
29
Hooters, Officer.
30
@20 & 27

Actually Liquor Control threatened to take Qwest Field's license for a full football season but settled for a 6 figure penalty... way more than any of the clubs on the hill have paid I bet
31
Seattle should take a hint from other cities with vibrant music scenes, like Austin, Texas, where the sign coming in says "Live music capitol of the world!" that city (which is more than half the size of Seattle)makes millions annually off of its artists and supporting them...Seattle could have become the Austin of the north, but the real estate nazis took over and instead we got condo's, yuppies and loss of culture, not to mention sky rocketing cost of living...ugh...Seattle was the original music conference city as well, North By Northwest, but with all the venues closing it moved to Portland, then was done in there too...look at what South By Southwest is these days...lets try to take back some of our basic rights as citizens by voting these a**holes out so we can continue to make and enjoy music without being harrased by greedy uptight bores.
32
Carr has made some absolutely boneheaded moves, but I always have to questino to motivation and integrity of the Stranger's reporting. I do not support any of Carr's stupid "Operation Sobering Thought" tactics, and think they're a waste of time.

Unfortunately, for all the reasons the Stranger will list Tom Carr should leave his post, it can't really list one reason Pete Holmes is qualified to take it. A lawyer for 24 years? So what. He's a bankruptcy lawyer! No litigation experience. His current practice is minimal. He has not managed large staff of litigation attorneys (90 or so in City Attorneys office). He has not been a criminal lawyer, either defense or prosecution. From a purely legal perspective, he is not qualified. No private sector law firm would hire him for a similar job, why should the City? Because Tom Carr doesn't like bars isn't a good enough answer.
33
@30 That penalty wasn't because of over-serving or drunks roaming the streets. Qwest had cut a secret deal with beer distributors to get volume discounts, something the WSLCB takes very seriously. (Gotta make sure everyone's palm gets greased!)
34
@32 - Nice work for the Carr campaign - this is what is repeated over and over - more half truths, which is Carr's general practice.

Holmes has been a successful attorney for 25 years. And he kicked Carr's ass all over the City while Holmes was head of the OPARB.

Just as when Carr took office, you're correct, neither had experience as a criminal attorney. I don't think this was a point against Carr, nor is it anything against Pete.

The case for Holmes is this - he's a very smart and successful attorney. He is progressive - and his values better reflect the City than Carr's. He believes in a transparent government while Carr does not.

Against Carr - first, his decisions on which cases to defend and how to do it have cost the City millions in fees - and he lost most of this. He bungled the Sonics lawsuit. He doesn't enforce environmental laws. His view of law enforcement is conservative, and so ineffective. We have open air drug markets in Seattle. We have a gang war happening with murders almost every weekend. All the while Carr spends tons of time on fighting an industry the people of Seattle support. He is also a vindictive hothead. Not the sort of temperment that makes a good attorney.

Take the nightlife issue off the table. Carr is still horrible. Holmes is the better candidate.

35
Screw Tom Carr. It was his office as well who shut down http://i-booze.com, and they were keeping drunks off the street!
36
Screw Tom Carr. It was his office as well who shut down http://i-booze.com, and they were keeping drunks off the street!
37
Tienney Milnor is a smoking hottie.... love it when she clicks her heels down the hall... thats why you Stranger freaks don't like her... You can't stand hot women who bathe....
38
34, I'm not supporting the Carr campaign, so your comment "Nice work" for it is full of shit.

OPARB? Big fucking deal. Yes, Holmes has been an attorney for nearly 25 years. When was he a litigator? When has he managed a large staff of litigation attorneys? Where is his prosecutorial or defense experience? It's not there. Bankruptcy lawyer, remember.

I'm sure he's a smart guy. Most lawyers have above-average intelligence. Still, no law firm would hire someone with no litigation experience to manage a huge staff of litigators, so why should the City? Oh, right, he's progressive (a label that means aboslutely nothing these days). He's not the best candiate we could have come up with to beat Carr. That's it.

39
34, I also forgot to add that I agree with you about Carr acting like a "vindictive hothead." You can't honestly say Holmes has acted any differently during this campaign. Did you hear them on KUOW? They were both practically yelling at each other, talking over each other, grandstanding like a couple of gorillas pounding on their chests to claim their territory.

I don't think either of them are worth voting for. That's almost always the problem in Seattle, though.
40
GREAT ARTICLE, as a longtime Capitol Hill resident and a practicing alcoholic, I stomp around all the time, and am a known bar fly at many joints. I tip heavy, stay polite, and get great pours everywhere. What increase in assaults from wandering drunks are Carr's people citing? The only place I get punk attitude and get hassled by people spilling out of bars is in Belltown and lower Queen Anne, usually by drunk Frat types or drunk glam types. Carr is using his office for a personal power push. The SPD's hands are tied, BUT, I also have had years of contact (some casual, some professional) with the Men and Women at the East precint, and they aren't nazis, and they don't rush to enforce shit that's stupid. However, if Carr cobbles together some team from downtown, it could get weird. How about Carr doing something with Seattle's growing gang and meth shit instead of taking down political enemies?
41
If an officer asks where you have been drinking, tell them you have been at the Rainier Club.
42
Great reporting, Dominic. Thanks.
43
pete holmes period
44
SeattleNMA.org Voting Cheat Sheet - Support Seattle Music & Nightlife. Vote & mail your ballots before Nov. 3rd. http://tinyurl.com/yf3eaol
45
top ten places to tell the cops you've been drinking...

10.) Cheesecake Factory
9.) The Gap
8.) Tim Eyman's basement
8.) Bruce Lee's grave
7.) Space Needle
6.) King County Courtroom
5.) EMP parking lot
4.) SAM women's room
3.) church
2.) Hooters
1.) Tom Carr's rancid mangina
46
Ah yes. Nightclubs as the engine of our economic recovery as well as the indisputably optimal transmitter of 'culture'.

Whatever.

I don't care how much the nightclubbers drink and a I don't care how much they beat each other up or run each other over. Likewise I don't care if they suffer permanent hearing damage from their clubbing.

I only wish the clubs would contain their noise and I wish the officer friendly (the weekend maitre d' hotel in P. Square ushering drunks out of the neighborhood via bullhorn generally starting at 1:40 AM) would disappear forever. Likewise I wish the clubbers would enjoy their 'community' at a slightly lower volume and spare me the endless permutations of the word 'bitch'.

I'm just sayin'.
47
I have lived on and worked at an emergency room on Capitol Hill for several years.I can tell you that the overwhelming number of the assaults related to drinking come in from Belltown and Pioneer Square. This seems to me to have a clear and intentional focus on Gay bars and their patrons.
48
Supporters of Tom Carr wear t-shirts saying to vote for him. Nothing wrong with that but when I was walking around Greenlake today (I’ve seen them at Northgate Mall too), they are very threatening. They make veiled threats about what could happen to us if Tom Carr is reelected and we did not vote for him. One guy followed me to my car and wrote down my license plate when he saw the Pete Holmes sticker on it. SCARY and not related to Halloween or April Fools’ Day.
49
Get Carr Out of office
Take the WSLCB out of the mix and go private
(did you know know that there will be a NEW POSH liquor store in Pacific Place with a grand piano and decor to the hilt all on us as Tax payers)
...and Make sure the new Mayor has his head on,
good lord this city is embarrassing
50
If you're interested, here's more about the crime stats Dominic refers to:
http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2009/1…

There *is* an area of Capitol Hill where assaults are up a disturbing amount -- but it's not Pike/Pine.
51
Tienney has a nickname at meetings, one she doesn't know about. It's called Tienney Brain.

dumb as a rock
52
Just let her know what you think. It's election season.
East Precinct Liaison Attorney
Tienney Milnor
(206) 684-4375
tienney.milnor@seattle.gov
53
Tom Carr is a vindictive butthead.I cannot believe he has been able to abuse his office in the manner he has. Operation sobering thought was a ridiculously misguided political stunt that backfired. The deal he offered small time drug dealers to change their ways was even a bigger farce: Stop dealing and we won't file charges against you. The bullshit "help" that was offered provided zero immediate financial support or help with addictions, etc. Meanwhile, arrests that would have otherwise gone unnoticed have garnered front page headlines: "Another drug dealer arrested who defied the dickhead." That fucker needs his ass kicked and I am going to do it if he is reelected--I promise..but don't vote for him as tempting as that might be.
55
The more obnoxious drunks get arrested and the more irresponsible bars get shut down THE BETTER! Nightlife is great and important part of our city but people ought to practice moderation and respect others. I live on Cap Hill and I'm sick and tired of alcoholics who don't know when to stop drinking and partying. The Stranger needs to pick its battles better.
56
I'm not entirely convinced that the noisy, obnoxious, drunk pinheads roaming Seattle every night really improve the city's quality of life. Closing bars might be a rather good idea. The fewer the merrier, for the rest of us.

Tom Carr, eh? Cool. Where's my ballot...
57
"For his part, Carr insists bar owners are targeting him."

And they have every right to. They're being defensive, not vindictive.
58
"I'm not entirely convinced that the noisy, obnoxious, drunk pinheads roaming Seattle every night really improve the city's quality of life. Closing bars might be a rather good idea. The fewer the merrier, for the rest of us.

Tom Carr, eh? Cool. Where's my ballot..."

Move out to the suburbs if you want to live in the suburbs. Or just fucking stop moving near broadway and being surprised when there's nightlife around you. Why on earth are you here? Surely there are many places in Washington where you can get restful sleep and walk around to a serene moonlit view. I'll put up with the usual wakeups from WHOOOOOOOOOOs and occasional broken glass or hobo yell if I know I can go out on any night and find something entertaining to do.

One night I may not. I'm not so stupid and selfish as to expect everything in the city to change as my needs change. Enjoy the disgustingly expensive condos and generic chain stores that'll eventually replace these bars in your bland (further) gentrification fantasy.
59
Ms. Undead, given the high background noise level that is an inescapable consequence of high density city life, it's especially important for city dwellers to be mindful of their contribution to that noise, and to minimize it out of respect for their neighbors.

I would argue that if yelling your drunk pinheads off, as you make your way from the bars to your cars through residential neighborhoods, is an essential part of late-night "entertainment" here (as it appears to be), then perhaps YOU should be the one to move to BFE, not me. There you can scream, shout, and break bottles all night long to that formerly serene -- and unpopulated -- moonlit view. See ya!
60
"Ms. Undead, given the high background noise level that is an inescapable consequence of high density city life, it's especially important for city dwellers to be mindful of their contribution to that noise, and to minimize it out of respect for their neighbors."

I absolutely agree, but punishing every night-dweller for the sins of a few is not proportional.

"as you make your way from the bars to your cars through residential neighborhoods"

Oh bullshit, the worst of them don't generally need to drive home. They're in that messy state because they can stumble to their doorstep. Besides, again I'm fine with the cops targeting THEM, instead of pathetic campaigns like this.

"then perhaps YOU should be the one to move to BFE, not me. There you can scream, shout, and break bottles all night long to that formerly serene -- and unpopulated -- moonlit view. See ya!"

Sorry guy, you're the one overreacting to a problem and suggesting scorched earth tactics.
61
All this nightlife hatery aside, Tom Carr is a TOTAL FUCKING DOUCHEBAG. The way he went about the recent trial involving the Seattle Firefighter who got injured on the job and ended up having to sue the city for his medical coverage made me want to fucking puke. The entire city legal team in that case came off as evil, stingy, moustache twirling scumbags. The Grinch doesn't have shit on Carr. And I have it on good authority that his heart is actually a shrivelled frozen piece of coal. So fuck him. Given the chance I would spike an overflowing colostomy bag on his face. Vote Holmes.
62
man . . . i'm annoyed with this article. knowing nothing about either candidate, i can say that it makes me not want to vote for . . . whoever it is you're supporting simply because you're obnoxious. seriously, is the reporting or an op piece? want the people on the fence to join your side? become more of a neutral reporting source. easier said than done, but just try it.
63
I'm glad Mr. Holden wrote this peice and included some legal advice.

"We wanted to tell you to lie—to tell them you had beers at home, or to say you were drinking in a bar that no longer exists.. but that would be illegal. Deliberately lying to a police officer is false reporting, and that’s a crime... We would be technically obstructing justice if we told you to lie..."

"But you don’t have to answer the question, and you shouldn’t answer the question."

well... uh.....where do I start here?

"obstruction of justice" is a very popular charge from SPD, and other cops. it's basically their "go-to" offense when someone isn't behaving the way they want them to.

It never sticks. Prosecutors would have to prove that you knowingly lied (if you're drunk you aren't exactly credible) in a way that "willfully hinders, delays, or obstructs any law enforcement officer in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties." (RCW)

The language of "False Reporting" in RCW is also pretty narrow-- it's use is constricted as far as what you are talking about (has to be a crime or an emergency), and the result of your action (must cause undue inconvenience or harm). So, even if you told a cop "he went thattaway" they will still have to prove that they were unable to get the suspect and it was YOUR fault.

Anyways, if anyone is still reading this, my point is, avoiding this charge by 'refusing to tell' is the same as lying. One is no more hindering their investigation by lying than they are by stating "no comment". Neither of these actions will likely result in a reasonable criminal complaint, while both of these actions, along with giving cops a dirty look, flipping them the bird, and so on, can land you in jail for at least a few hours. Unfair? you can sue the city or write the mayor's office, but cops can still act as they wish. Personally, I'd actually lie because its not like they're going to track me down after they "discovered" (somehow) my lie, and a cop isn't likely to be very happy about someone's supposed 'right to remain silent'.

Of course, The Stranger's lawyers were probably trying to avoid trouble with the law of their own with this comment, so I guess it makes sense, but... well... yeah.
64
this is the war for the hill.

fuck off yuppies