Once embroiled in Strippergate scandal, Heidi Wills registers for council re-run

Feb 28, 2019, 4:55 PM | Updated: 5:00 pm
Strippergate Heidi Wills Rick's Nightclub...
Rick's Nightclub was seized by the feds in May 2011. (97.3 KIRO FM/Chris Sullivan)
(97.3 KIRO FM/Chris Sullivan)

With seven of nine Seattle City Council seats up for grabs in 2019, the city’s governing body is primed for a massive shakeup. Things will soon get even more interesting, as former councilmember Heidi Wills is now registered to run in District 6.

All the candidates running for Seattle City Council in 2019

Wills served on the council between 2000 and 2003, and left office embroiled in controversy following the 2003 Strippergate scandal.

That scandal saw Wills and two other council members at the time accept sizable donations from infamous crime boss and strip-club magnate Frank Colacurcio Sr., and then vote in favor of zoning changes to allow Colacurcio’s Lake City strip club, Rick’s, to expand its parking.

Wills was fined $1,500 for ethics violations in the wake of that scandal, and left office not long after. The Colacurcios pleaded guilty to felony charges in 2008, and ended up paying $55,000 in fines for violating city election laws.

In the years since Strippergate, Wills worked as the director for The First Tee of Greater Seattle, a non-profit that seeks to teach life skills and healthy habits to youths through golf. She worked for First Tee for 13 years before leaving in 2017.

There isn’t a lot of information available on Wills’ campaign for 2019, but she has already accrued enough signatures to qualify for Seattle’s Democracy Vouchers program.

Wills was the youngest member on the council during her tenure, collected over $221,000 in campaign contributions in that time, and was even endorsed by then-Mayor Greg Nickels.

She’ll soon face off against eight other total candidates in District 6. Five new candidates registered in District 6 following the announcement that incumbent Mike O’Brien wouldn’t be running for reelection, Wills chief among them.

No word on whether Judy Nicastro plans to register.

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Once embroiled in Strippergate scandal, Heidi Wills registers for council re-run