The word out of City Hall today is that Frank Colacurcio Sr. and Jr. have reached an agreement with the city to settle the long-running political soap opera known as Strippergate and pay a $55,000 fine.
The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission will discuss and possibly formally accept the agreement tomorrow. "We don't have any [settlement] documents to distribute yet," said commission campaign auditor Polly Grow, who confirmed the agreement deal. She said it was unclear at this point what would happen to a separate, criminal, case. But another city official said that it will be dropped as a result of the settlement. More on Strippergate here.
Charges involving at least $39,000 in illegally bundled City Council campaign contributions in 2003 were lodged against the Stripper King, his son and some of their employees from Rick's and other nude dance clubs. The criminal charges were tossed by King County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Fox, who agreed the Public Disclosure Act allows only for civil penalties rather than criminal. But last year the state Supreme Court sided with prosecutors, saying the act does the opposite. The SEEC presumably used that reinstated criminal charge to leverage a civil settlement, bringing the case full circle.
Update: Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor's Office, said he was reluctant to comment until an agreement is approved. "As of now, the [criminal] charges still exist," he said.