President Bush has nominated former Clallam County Sheriff Joe Hawe to be U.S. marshal for Western Washington, replacing Eric Robertson...

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President Bush has nominated former Clallam County Sheriff Joe Hawe to be U.S. marshal for Western Washington, replacing Eric Robertson, who retired earlier this year.

The White House sent Hawe’s name to the Senate late Thursday. If confirmed by the Senate, Hawe would oversee security at federal courthouses in Seattle, Tacoma and other cities and lead efforts to round up fugitives and sex offenders from Vancouver, Wash., to Bellingham.

The Marshals Service provides security for federal judges and federal courthouses, transports federal prisoners to court, serves federal arrest warrants and seizes assets from criminals convicted in U.S. District Court.

Hawe was Clallam County sheriff for 13 years before resigning to work for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. The Olympia-based organization lobbies the Legislature on behalf of law enforcement and certifies police and sheriff’s agencies.

Seattle

False Katrina claim gets 18-month term

A woman who falsely claimed to be a victim of Hurricane Katrina was sentenced in federal court in Seattle to 18 months in prison for fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said Friday that 45-year-old Rosemarie Calvin of Henderson, Nev., was living in Washington at the time of the hurricane and has never been to Louisiana.

Calvin filed a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency saying Katrina had damaged her home in New Orleans. She also claimed medical and dental expenses as a result of the hurricane and said her scooter was stolen while she was in the Superdome. She also falsely told aid workers her husband had been killed in Iraq.

Federal prosecutors say the Katrina inquiry led investigators to discover that Calvin used false credentials to work as a nurse at a Seattle clinic and to make false or illegal claims for Social Security and disability benefits.

As part of her plea agreement for mail and Social Security fraud, Calvin agreed to pay $127,000 in restitution.

Seattle

“Smart” fare cards at least a year away

Transit riders will have to wait one more year to use a regional “smart” card to pay fares because of technical delays in launching the complicated system.

Known as ORCA (One Regional Card for All), the card is to be used on buses, ferries, commuter trains and future light rail in Snohomish, King, Pierce and Kitsap counties. Riders will be able to add money to the cards through an electronic account, somewhat like reloading a debit card or coffee card.

ORCA was supposed to become available in 2006, but the $37 million system will not be ready until December 2008, said Brian Brooke, a Sound Transit project manager. In hindsight, the original schedule was unrealistic, he said. Among other challenges, the software needs to keep track of money and trips for seven agencies.

Arlington

Byrnes named top superintendent

Arlington School Superintendent Linda Byrnes is this year’s Washington superintendent of the year.

Byrnes is in her 12th year in the Arlington School District, where she has developed programs such as an annual event where teachers share their best work with each other and the Freshman Academy to help at-risk students entering high school.

The Washington Association of School Administrators selects the state’s top superintendent each year, who then represents Washington in the National Superintendent of the Year program.

Seattle

Monorail work being recycled

A vestige of the defunct Seattle Monorail Project is being put to use on another transportation system.

Workers are drilling test holes in the soil this week for Highway 519, a series of ramps linking elevated Interstate 90 to Seattle’s Sodo District and the waterfront. The monorail project spent $3.3 million — of a total $124 million from 2002-05 — for the Shannon & Wilson engineering firm to examine soils from Ballard to West Seattle.

One monorail test hole, once intended for a station east of Safeco Field, is in the highway corridor. So only 14 holes must be drilled for the highway instead of 15, reducing costs by $10,000, said Shannon & Wilson engineer Monique Nykamp, a contractor for the state Department of Transportation.

Monorail soil studies might also become useful for an Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement or an overpass above train tracks on South Lander Street.

Port Orchard

Lawsuit claims abuse by priest

A Port Orchard man filed a lawsuit this week against the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese, saying he was sexually abused for two years starting when he was 13 by the Rev. Edward Boyle.

The suit, filed in King County Superior Court under the initials R.R., claims Boyle molested the boy in the 1970s when the priest was serving at Holy Trinity Church in Bremerton.

Boyle, now deceased, was accused in an earlier lawsuit of abusing another boy in the 1950s at churches in Everett and Arlington. That suit settled in October for $270,000.

Olympia

Press secretary leaving Gregoire

More turnover in Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office: Press Secretary Lars Erickson is leaving.

Erickson, a veteran of political campaigns, has been the governor’s spokesman and adviser for the past two years, often traveling with her. Erickson said Friday he will leave early next month to become Pierce Transit’s press officer.

He described it as an amicable parting and said he has the greatest admiration for the governor. He said that after the intense and all-consuming pace, he’s ready for more balance in his life.

In recent weeks, the governor’s chief of staff, Tom Fitzsimmons, and communications director, Holly Armstrong, have left. Fitzsimmons was replaced by Cindy Zehnder; Armstrong’s successor has not been named.

Seattle Times staff and news services