The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an alleged death threat believed to have been sparked by a local political action committee’s robocall.
Rochester School Board member and property rights activist Glen Morgan reported receiving the threat on Monday, shortly after a robocall his PAC sponsored criticizing Thurston County Commissioner candidate Jim Cooper went out to area homes.
Morgan kept a recording of the threat, which featured a male voice stating: “Hey you (expletive), you ever call again, I’m gonna find you and kill you, (expletive),” according to a Thurston County Sheriff’s Office incident report The Olympian obtained.
Morgan said his voice mail system automatically identified the phone number where the message originated, and it was traced to a Democratic Party Precinct Committee Officer in Olympia.
The Olympian is not using the man’s name because he has not been charged with a crime.
Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy Ryan Hoover contacted the man whose home number was associated with the message.
“(The man) knew which message I was referring to, and stated to me that ‘It was a stupid thing I did,’ and ‘I know that was wrong,’ ” Hoover wrote in the incident report. “He admitted to leaving the threatening message and it had been directed at Morgan, but he had no intention of carrying his threat out.”
The man told the deputy he was “fed up” and “tired of the lies and slander.”
Morgan said he obtained a protection order from the man on Wednesday. He told The Olympian he felt it was prudent to let it work through the legal process.
“It seemed so over-the-top that I was really surprised that it was somebody who’s an official with the Democratic party,” Morgan said. “It would be nice if somebody in the Thurston County Democrat Party or the state party would just renounce threats of violence. … Maybe people’s emotions, or people, are a little out of control (and) need to be calmed down or educated that death threats are not an acceptable part of the political process.”
Katie Nelson, chair of the Thurston County Democrats, said she couldn’t provide comment on the situation because she didn’t have firsthand knowledge of it. The man who admitted to making the call was not re-elected as a precinct committee officer during the Aug. 2 primary election, she said.
“There’s really not a lot more that I can or the party can do,” Nelson said. “They didn’t get re-elected. They won’t be an officer of the party anymore. And I think the Democratic party is well-known and well-associated as the party of peace. … Clearly we would not condone any kind of violence as a method of, in fact, solving any problem.”
Former Washington State Democratic Party chairman Paul Berendt of Olympia said he doesn’t know Morgan or the man who admitted to making the threat, but he doesn’t think the state or local party needs to get involved with the issue.
“The only person that needs to be held accountable for their actions is the individual who made the call,” Berendt said.