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Seattle council candidate withdraws after criminal assault exposed

caption: Mike McQuaid's profile image on LinkedIn. McQuaid withdrew from a city council race on Monday, March 1, 2021.
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Mike McQuaid's profile image on LinkedIn. McQuaid withdrew from a city council race on Monday, March 1, 2021.
Mike McQuaid via LinkedIn

Michael McQuaid, a candidate for Seattle City Council, has withdrawn from the race after an article in the Seattle Times exposed a criminal assault from 2015.

McQuaid had pleaded guilty for hitting a landscaper at his condominium with a rock. McQuaid, according to a police report, was dissatisfied with the work and got into a heated argument with a worker.

After threatening to "head butt" the worker, he picked up a gas-powered chop saw and told him, according to a police report, “I’m going to cut your head off.” Unable to get the motor going, he threw a rock instead and hit the worker in the lower back.

McQuaid was vying for an at-large seat occupied by incumbent Teresa Mosqueda. McQuaid works in public affairs, according to LinkedIn, describes himself as “deeply involved in Seattle’s urban renewal,” and an “avid athlete.” He is also involved with Irish heritage events in the city.

Further courts searches show that McQuaid, 57, pleaded guilty to assault in 1997. McQuaid, then in his mid-30s, completed community service as required by the court.

In a separate case from 2000, court records show McQuaid petitioning for unemployment after being dismissed from his job at Business Wire – but being denied because he had been fired. Court records say McQuaid was terminated for insubordination and cursing at a manager.

According to a court filing, a female coworker had asked McQuaid to shut his office door because his phone calls were loud. When a supervisor told him to work out the volume issue, McQuaid responded, “I’m not going to let a woman tell me how to, you know, run my business.”

In 2004, McQuaid was cited for letting his dog off leash. In 2005, he was cited after his animal bit someone.

In the more recent assault case from 2015, construction had been ongoing for months at his Westlake condominium.

After arguing with one of the workers, the police report said that, “McQuaid picked up a gas operated chop saw, attempted to start it, and stated, ‘I’m going to cut your head off.’ When the saw wouldn’t start, McQuaid picked up a rock and threw it at the victim from approximately eight to ten feet away.”

For this, McQuaid was ordered to complete three days of work crew. The assault charge was dismissed after he complied with court conditions.

“If I had that 30 seconds to take over again and could have avoided walking into that situation, I would have done it in a heartbeat,” McQuaid told The Seattle Times. “It’s one of these things that you wish to God you had a way to think differently, but neither one of us touched each other, there was no altercation.”

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