Conflict continues in Pacific

Now that Pacific’s existence is ensured for another year, the political infighting in the city has nastied up a notch.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Councilmember Gary Hulsey called out Mayor Cy Sun for statements on his blog.

In a recent posting at, Sun questioned Hulsey’s military service record and his service as a Washington state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

According to Sun’s blog, VFW Washington State Adjutant George “Corky” Berthiaume told him that Hulsey had never served as a state commander of the VFW.

“What I have to say from my meeting with Corky, are the following,” Sun wrote. “Hulsey was not ever a state commander for any Veterans organization. He lied under oath and in Legislative session.”

Sun added:

“Hulsey, what kind of Discharge did you get, a DD (Dishonorable Discharge), MD (Medical Discharge), CD (Convenience Discharge), or were you ever in the Service? Did you serve in Nam [the Vietnam War] or the Dominican Republic where we, the United States were in a combat skirmish? Did you receive the Purple Heart? If so, do you have documents to prove that you, indeed, received it? How about producing your DD214? That will prove everything what you said, you were and you did?”

“You told several lies in your blog, flat out lies,” Hulsey told Sun at the meeting. “I want the city attorney to read aloud my DD214.”

According to the document – read aloud by City Attorney Kenyon Luce – Hulsey served in the United States Marine Corps from April 27, 1965 until his honorable discharge as a sergeant on April 26, 1971. In addition the document states that Hulsey received a Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation and a Vietnam Service Medal with stars.

“It does appear to be a valid DD214 for the honorable service of Mr. Gary Hulsey,” Luce said.

Hulsey also addressed the mayor, council and audience about his service in the VFW, insisting that he had proof of his service as a Washington State Commander.

Berthiaume later confirmed in a phone interview that Hulsey had served as a state commander for the organization. He Sun must have “misunderstood” him.

“I told him that Hulsey cannot speak as a commander for the VFW now,” he said.

Berthiaume added that Hulsey also served as the state treasurer but was voted out of office.

“He was working for free and they voted in someone who they had to pay a salary, if that tells you anything,” he said. “He’s just not overly popular.”

In addition to accusations regarding Hulsey’s service, Sun’s blog dredged up the councilmember’s 1978 conviction for second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife.

Hulsey was sentenced to 20 years in prison and paroled eight years later. In 1992 the state Sentence Review Board determined he had fulfilled the terms of his supervision and parole and restored his civil rights.

“It’s true. I spent time in prison. I took somebody’s life,” Hulsey said in the March 2 Auburn Reporter. “I don’t hide from it, but I’m not going to tattoo it on my forehead, either.”

As far as the latest round of accusations goes, Hulsey said he doesn’t take it personally.

“I’ve been in politics long enough,” Hulsey said. “I get up in the morning and shower with Armor All and go about my day. I feel like I’ve done a good job on the council, and I’m still an advocate for veterans and seniors. (Sun) comes off the wall with stuff a lot. I just figured it was more of it. He’s in a situation where he’s getting frustrated, and it’s all closing in on him and he’s striking out.”

ALSO: Sun found himself in the hot seat at Monday’s council meeting about an ad in the Auburn Reporter for a new City attorney.

John Jones asked Sun why the ad was placed when the City has a contract with Kenyon Luce to provide legal services for the City.

“Who directed the request for a City attorney’s services?” Jones said, adding that he didn’t “remember any council meeting that we have had a council conversation related to requiring new City attorney services.”

According to Sun, he directed the City clerk to place the ad because his personal attorney told him “there is a possibility that we would have to hire a new attorney.”

Back in June Sun tried to fire Luce, giving him 30-days notice. The council responded by passing Ordinance 12-1826, wresting control of the hiring and firing of the City’s legal representative from the mayor by switching the position to a contract employee position, which requires a vote of council for hiring and firing.

Sun responded to Jones’ inquiry by telling the council that he doesn’t “consider Mr. Luce as my attorney for the City because we have an impasse.”

“We have a problem,” Sun said. “And I don’t want to bring that into this council meeting. That’s something that is foreign and away from this council meeting.”


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