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Seattle’s Chief Attorney: Fight Tickets Written By Officer On Anti-Marijuana ‘Vendetta’

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Seattle City Attorney Peter S. Holmes is calling on dozens of residents ticketed for public marijuana use to fight the “improper” tickets issued by a single police officer who reportedly flipped a coin to decide whether or not to write citations in addition to handwriting taunts to Holmes on the tickets themselves.  (credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Seattle City Attorney Peter S. Holmes is calling on dozens of residents ticketed for public marijuana use to fight the “improper” tickets issued by a single police officer who reportedly flipped a coin to decide whether or not to write citations in addition to handwriting taunts to Holmes on the tickets themselves. (credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Seattle, Wash. (CBS SEATTLE) – Seattle City Attorney Peter S. Holmes is calling on dozens of residents ticketed for public marijuana use to fight the “improper” tickets issued by a single police officer who reportedly flipped a coin to decide whether or not to write citations in addition to writing taunts to Holmes on the tickets themselves.

Holmes has been one of the most vocal supporters of I-502’s legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana in Washington. In his first term, Holmes pushed to legalize marijuana, writing an op-ed in The Seattle Times that called for an end to pot prosecutions in the city.

But late last month, Seattle Police Officer Randy Jokela issued tickets to 66 people – most of whom were homeless – with handwritten notes on the tickets directly mocking Holmes and labeling the voter-approved initiation for recreational marijuana use as “silly.”

According to accountability records, the bicycle officer has written 80 percent of all the public pot smoking citations since I-502 passed.

On one ticket revealed by KOMO-TV, Jokela writes: “Glass Pipe: D Lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while other person walked. D was allowed to keep his pipe.”

That citation, along with dozens of others, is signed: “*ATTN: Petey Holmes*”

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole wrote on the department website in July that Jokela, then unidentified, had issued 66 of the city’s 83 citations for public pot use. Jokela was reassigned and won’t be on patrol duties as the department’s Office of Professional Accountability investigates what Holmes
called an “improper” use of authority.

“Apparently, in order to poke at me, (Jokela) had to necessarily write up homeless people,” Holmes told KOMO Newsradio, adding that Jokela using the citations as a mouthpiece for legal dissent “is just completely improper.”

“It’s pretty clear if Officer Jokela wrote these, then there’s a question about the purpose, and about whether they’re issued in good faith,” said Holmes. “Other than Officer Jokela’s participation and particular vendetta he seemed to have for me, I’m not sure what the circumstances are for all the tickets written to date.”

Benjamin Fearnow

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