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Stocker resigns two weeks after allegations

Allegations that he punched two men outside a popular Seattle nightclub have cost Bremerton’s Assistant City Attorney Simon Stocker his job.

Stocker e-mailed his letter of resignation on Friday, Jan. 30 to his boss, City Attorney Roger Lubovich, citing “intense media scrutiny” after recent assault charges.

Lubovich hired Stocker as an intern in the Kent city attorney’s office in 1996, and when Lubovich took a new job in Bremerton two years ago, he hired Stocker again. In their seven years of working together, he never saw a violent side.

“I never saw anything like that out of him, that never even came close to anything like that,” Lubovich said.

According to police and witness reports, Stocker punched one man and then kicked his head while he was on the ground. He also punched another man in the face before being apprehended by a police officer.

He pleaded not guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault and one charge of felony assault in King County Court on Thursday, Jan. 29.

“I would have like to continue my work with the city, but as you know the recent allegations against me, coupled with the intense media coverage surrounding the issue have created an environment that would be detrimental to the productivity of the city attorney’s office,” Stocker said in his resignation letter.

“This being the case, I feel that it is in the best interest of the city that I remove myself as a distraction from the positive changes occurring there and allow others to carry on the business of the city unfettered.”

Stocker will remain on paid administrative leave until Feb. 29, 30 days from his resignation notice.

Since Stocker was placed on leave the Monday after the incident, numerous city hall employees have approached Lubovich expressing their appreciation of Stocker’s work.

“He has nothing but support,” Lubovich said. “Everybody likes him. He’s a great guy.”

In the meantime, Lubovich is shooting to hire an interim assistant. He is currently redesigning the job description and will present it to the city council.

Lubovich is so busy without Stocker these days that on a recent Tuesday he jumped between two meetings at the same time at city hall.

He is looking to hire a new assistant city attorney at either Stocker’s band of 17, or at a lower band, depending upon experience. Stoker’s annual salary was $75,308.

Additionally, Lubovich has submitted his application for the Bainbridge Island City Attorney position. He was asked by a Bainbridge official to do so and does not regard his chances as great to get the job. Lubovich could be one of 70 applicants for the position, he said.

If he was offered the job, he would take it, he said.

He was insistent that he is not looking to leave his position at the city, and says the recent allegations against Stocker do not have any relation to his application at Bainbridge Island.

“I’m not leaving, I like it here,” he said. “It was an opportunity that was pointed in my direction. I decided to go out and take a look at it.”

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