Federal Way City Council candidate Denise Yun, accused by a local hardware store owner of theft, said she is still running to unseat current Council president Linda Kochmar.
During a phone call July 27, a reporter understood Yun to have said “I quit my campaign.” The Federal Way Mirror first reported that detail and others about the alleged theft last week.
Yun said in a follow-up email this week that she has not quit her campaign, and does not intend to do so.
She is still campaigning and meeting voters: “I am confident I will win this race,” Yun said in an email.
“I look forward to when all the facts of this incident, which I feel is character assassination and politically motivated to damage my campaign, I will be vindicated and hope the citizens of Federal Way understand being accused does not mean one is guilty,” Yun said in an email.
Yun was accused this month of shoplifting two hammers and attempting to take a third from the Trinity Ace Hardware on Pacific Highway on July 18. The store owner, Nick Rose, points to video evidence of Yun putting the hammers in her purse and said voters should be aware of the incident.
Yun maintains her innocence. She said she took the hammers out of her purse before leaving, and claimed the owner made a racially offensive comment about her running for office as a Korean before she left.
Rose denied making that comment, and said he didn’t even know who Yun was, what her ethnicity was, or that she was a candidate for office before Yun had already left the store. Rose learned her identity afterwards, when an employee passed along a campaign phone number that Yun had given that employee, he said.
As of Aug. 1, Yun has not yet been criminally charged over the incident.
Kent city prosecutor on the case
Police finished investigating the case in late July and sent it to the Federal Way city prosecutor for review. Because Yun is running for office against a sitting council member, and to avoid the appearance of bias, Federal Way gave the case to the Kent city prosecutor, Federal Way city spokesperson David Solano said Aug. 1.
“We are still in the process of receiving and reviewing the discovery in this matter,” City of Kent chief prosecuting attorney Sara Watson said in an email Aug. 1. “No filing decision has been made at this time.”