Aurora Avenue Motel Owners Accuse City of "Prosecutorial Vindictiveness"

Continental breakfast, Aurora Avenue north style.
Unless you actually live near one of their motels, you've probably all but forgotten about the city's prosecution of Dean and Jill Inman. The Bothell couple own or operate four of the city's most gloriously seedy low-rent flophouses, all of them located within miles of each other on Aurora Avenue North.

Last summer, back when a guy named Tom Carr was still running the show, the Seattle City Attorney's office hit the Inmans with 180 criminal charges for miscellaneous violations of the city tax code. As detailed in our September cover story, it was all part of a thinly veiled effort to try and curb the fightin', pimpin' and related criminal activity that nearby residents say the Inmans have largely ignored.

The P.I. reports that the Inmans are using that as a basis for dismissing the charges.

Citing the city's alleged "prosecutorial vindictiveness," the Inman's lawyers are accusing the City Attorney's office of taking a page out of The Untouchables and pursuing the tax angle only because it's the most convenient method of shutting the motels down.

To which the City Attorney's office responded: "Yeah. So."

Actually, Assistant City Attorney Ed McKenna's written response to the motion simply pointed out the obvious: the Inman's claim of vindictiveness on the city's part is only as the valid as their record of filing their taxes. According to the City Attorney's Office, that's something they went years without doing. So, the city would seem to have a solid excuse for levying the charges.

Barring a judge's ruling in their favor, or an eleventh hour settlement between the two sides, the Inmans will appear in court for a jury trial later this month.

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