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Dori: Two King County Metro supervisors arrested for sex trafficking

(King County Metro)

A tip from a listener gave us an exclusive story about a very concerning coincidence at King County Metro.

In February, there was a story in the news about a 45-year-old man named Mark Norton, who was arrested for investigation of rape and sex trafficking.

Norton was married when he met a girl in the cadet squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (the cadet squadron is for teenagers), where he was a commanding officer. According to court documents, when she started babysitting his kids, he allegedly coerced the girl into having sex with him and later convinced her to move into his basement. It was at this point that his wife divorced him.

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When the girl turned 18, Norton allegedly trafficked her in Everett, Lynnwood, and Seattle. He forced her to be in three pornographic films. He even, according to court records, made her marry his barber so that the barber, who was not an American citizen, could stay in the U.S. The woman reported that the physical threats and psychological coercion to get her to perform all of these acts against her will.

What did Mark Norton do for his primary job? He was superintendent of Transit Security and Emergency Management at King County Metro, but was promoted to interim director of Facilities just days before his arrest.

Fast forward to this week to a story that we covered, but from which a gigantic piece was missing.

A teen girls’ softball coach in Woodinville, Tim Brickell, attempted to buy sex from a teenage girl named “Vickey,” whom he met online. Not only was he aware of her age, but according to court records, when he found out that she was 15, his immediate response was to ask her for naughty photos. It turns out that Vickey was an undercover detective with the police. Brickell was arrested in February when he arrived at a hotel to meet her, and has been charged with attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

That would have been the end of it, but a listener tip alerted me to the fact that Tim Brickell is a lead mechanic at the North Base for King County Metro in Shoreline. The stories about the softball coach contained no reference to the fact that this man also works at Metro.

Both of these arrests happened in February, within the same week. Both of these men are supervisors at King County Metro. If that is a coincidence, it’s a very bizarre one.

We contacted Metro and asked to have someone from the agency come on to discuss what is, at best for them, a bizarre coincidence. It makes me wonder, is there something cultural there? Is there something on the Metro work computers? Did these two supervisors know one another?

King County Metro General Manager Rob Gannon sent us the following message:

We were as disturbed as everyone to learn of recent criminal allegations that have emerged against these two individuals. Their reported actions do not reflect the values of Metro, or of the communities where we work and live. We have screening processes in place where we hire people to protect our employees and the members of the public in their care. The common thread of Metro is service to our community. We are focused on the good work of the more than 5,000 employees who serve the public faithfully each day.

I want to thank them for sending us that statement so quickly. This could just be a horrible coincidence for Metro. Maybe these guys didn’t have any priors. We’ve not been able to ascertain that yet.

I also want to remind people that this has nothing to do with liberals or conservatives. Child sex crimes, sadly, go across the political and social spectrum. This is an ugly crime. Sex crimes against children are heinous.

But I find it incredibly coincidental, that you have two supervisors for the same government agency arrested for sex trafficking within the same week.

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