This Primary Election, there are two good options and one poor choice for SeaTac City Council


There have been a number of articles written here about the City of SeaTac.  A few have been about the successful election of regular citizens who were frustrated with a former corrupted and out-of-touch city council (see here, and here).  A few have been about the egregious case of the K&S $18.3 million land use jury verdict against the City of SeaTac (see here) where staff were exposed for destroying the value of a commercial piece of property in order to use city resources (via a straw-man buyer shell game) to effectively steal the property from the land owner.   The corruption and staff infection at the City of SeaTac exposed in that trial was discussed here, here, and here, and this local history is the backdrop for this article.

Judge McDermott found SeaTac staff guilty of deception and dishonesty in 2016

“A government entity owes a duty of honesty and transparency to those people to whom they deal with…The City (of SeaTac) violated that duty so many times I’ve lost count,…it’s amazing.  Quite frankly, the actions of the City of SeaTac in this case are unexplainable and totally unacceptable.  The period of deception even lasted through their answer in the public records…I find this to be the worst thing about this case is the actions of the City and how dishonest they were and I find that to be completely and totally unacceptable.” (quote from King County Superior Court Judge McDermott p46-47 Transcript K&S vs. SeaTac hearing July 8, 2016)

Rita Palomino Marlow

We recently noticed a primary election coming up in the City of SeaTac for City Council Position #1.  Three candidates are running for this city council seat.   Candidate Rita Palomino Marlow (campaign website here) and candidate Senayet Negusse (campaign website here) are newcomers to the local election scene.  We don’t know either of these candidates very well, but based on endorsements and political allies, it seems likely we would disagree on many policies and the role of government in our lives.  However, they both appear to be better options than the third candidate for this seat.   

Senayet Negusse

The final candidate is strongly linked to the stories we have written about the City of SeaTac in the past, and his reappearance on the political scene bodes poorly for the future of the city, if he is elected to the council.  Tony Anderson (no campaign website found) is the third candidate and it is unfortunate to see him on any ballot.  During the K&S trial, Anderson was paid by the city’s insurance company to attend the trial.  He witnessed all the evidence presented about city staff hiding public records (or destroying them), trying to bankrupt the Kingen family (property owners), lying to the Kingens, and scheming to steal the property from the Kingen family so that staff could implement their own Central Planning scheme, and when Anderson took the stand he indicated that he didn’t believe staff did anything wrong (see article here).  This is not someone who should be in elected office.

former SeaTac City Councilman Tony Anderson trying to stage a comeback in 2019

Tony Anderson has a checkered past.  While a Sergeant for the Port of Seattle, he was disciplined in 1998 for using a co-worker’s computer to view porn (see original memo linked here).  Anderson successfully claimed he was only using the computer to delete the porn, but the investigation upheld accusations against Anderson for Neglect of Duty, Failure to Perform Duties, and Failure to report violations of the law to his Superiors.  Apparently, according to the disciplinary memo, Anderson ignored a drive-by shooting/homicide:

“This investigation establishes that you were conducting a non-priority activity (attempting to locate and remove sexually explicit graphics from the computer) while you clearly had more pressing supervisory responsibilities to attend to at that time” (one of his officers had stumbled on a drive-by shooting homicide near Port Property at the same time).   – (Port of Seattle Police Department, Internal Investigation No 97 -2, p.2)

In 2011, the Seattle PI ran an article (linked here) which referenced this case with Tony Anderson in the context of a wider, unfolding scandal within the port of Seattle’s police department regarding the distribution of racist and sexually explicit emails.  While Anderson’s past history while employed at the Port of Seattle might seem like ancient history now, his more recent exposure in the K&S case as someone completely incapable of recognizing dishonest and corrupt activity by City of SeaTac staff is the most troubling.  The jury (and most outside observers, including this author who was in the King County courtroom for the closing arguments) clearly had no trouble recognizing the egregious behavior of the city staff in this case. 

In 2015, Tony Anderson’s presence in over 50% of the Council Meetings was as a face on a Monitor, which drew some attention from local citizens at the time.

Finally, when Tony Anderson was still on the SeaTac City Council, he was known for missing (due to travel) over half the council meetings in 2015 and being represented by only a Monitor placed on the dais – resulting in a story about his frequent absences (see here).  When the four incumbents were booted out of office that election cycle, Tony led the effort by the lame duck incumbents who lost their races (including Representative Mia Gregerson, who lost her seat as Mayor) to sign a rushed, sweetheart giveaway contract with the Port of Seattle (where Anderson had been employed for many years) in an effort to financially harm the City of SeaTac before the new council could take office and fix this agreement (something they did a few years later, as referenced in this video). 

SeaTac City Hall

Tony Anderson is a known politician, unable to see employee corruption even when it is exposed to him and the rest of the world in a jury trial over several months.  He was happy to harm the residents of SeaTac to sign sweetheart deals with his former employer.  He was always willing to increase taxes, reduce services, and travel so often that he couldn’t make half his council meetings for large parts of his political career.  The residents of SeaTac don’t need this guy back to see how much more damage he can do the second time around.

Fortunately, the voters do have a choice, and they can pick either Rita Palomino Marlow or Senayet Negusse and they can have someone new on the council who hopefully won’t support or repeat the corrupt and questionable behavior of Anderson.  Politicians don’t come with any guarantees, but past performance is a reasonable indication of future behavior.  The City of SeaTac doesn’t need someone like Tony Anderson on this council ever again.

The residents of SeaTac don’t need to experience Tony Anderson on the council again

*After this article was posted, it was shared on a variety of local NextDoor sites in the SeaTac area. Tony Anderson responded as follows:

Which in turn motivated an additional response from Mr. Kovacs, who apparently was able to obtain some of these original referenced documents about Tony Anderson after Anderson attempted to legally intervene and prevent them from being disclosed (apparently, Anderson thought they had been buried for good). I wasn’t familiar with the history behind obtaining these original documents although I’ve been aware of them for many years now. Regardless, here is Mr. Kovacs response:

Tony Anderson’s response raises far more questions than it answers because he is totally unable to recognize that I quoted the judge in this article who stated that the City Staff at SeaTac were corrupt and dishonest at almost every step of the process. I was in the courtroom (as was Tony Anderson) when the judge made this statement. The only person there who didn’t think the City of SeaTac did anything dishonest, corrupt or wrong was Tony Anderson, which puts a major question mark over his capacity to “help train police departments to fight corruption.” Did he ever find corruption in that job capacity? Or was he educating them on how to overlook and cover it up, just like Tony Anderson did while he was on the SeaTac City Council?

Regardless, the residents can do far less damage to their community by electing anyone else rather than returning Mr. Anderson to the City Council.


Background articles and documents:

Port of Seattle Police Department – Disciplinary Memorandum – Sgt. Tony Anderson – Internal Investigation #97-2 – January 2, 1998

Seattle PI – January 19, 2007 – “Port officers sent explicit e-mails, Few received more than reprimand”

The City of SeaTac – Restoring citizen control of local government

City of SeaTac slammed by $18.3 million jury verdict, city attorneys guilty of deception

City of SeaTac misled by staff attorney,  highlighting the staff infection

The City of SeaTac suffers from a serious staff infection

The SeaTac Blog – “Councilman misses over half of SeaTac City Council meetings – attends by video”

Resident tells SeaTac Council to put aside personal gripes and “fix the damn city”

K&S Final Judgment

Insurance company rejects payment because of fraud and other reasons by the City of SeaTac

Jury Verdict – K&S Verdict Form (note Misrepresentation Claim 1.3 is another term for “Fraud”)

Seatac -Prothman Report – 2010

City’s Press Release – Jan 2010 (original)

Revised Final Press Release (City Press Release rewritten by K&S to represent their view of the situation)

DEPOSITION of CRAIG WARD (former SeaTac City Manager)

DEPOSITION of STEPHEN BUTLER (former SeaTac Director of Planning)



  1. I have lived on Angle Lake for 22 years and watched SeaTac Council members come and go. The events that have transpired I thin City management over those years would make a good novel.

    In October 2018 I was given my Commission as a member of the SeaTac Planning Commission. I have had the opportunity to watch our existing City Council at work. They are all above reproach. SeaTac is finally being represented by a professional hard working team that puts in long hours making sure the people of SeaTac are being represented as they should be.
    I encourage everyone to make an effort to vote wisely. Your leadership welcomes and invites your input and participation.

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