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March 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Judge dismisses ticket for driving in park during shutdown

The Associated Press

PORT ANGELES — A Sequim woman who was ticketed for driving past two barricades in Olympic National Park during the government shutdown was found not guilty after a brief bench trial before a federal magistrate.

Magistrate Judge Bryan Tsuchida said Leanne Potts made an honest mistake and misunderstood what the signs on the barricades meant.

The sign read, “Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service facility is closed.”

Port Angeles teacher Kelly Sanders was ticketed the same day in October when she took a group of foreign exchange students for a hike. She decided to pay the fine rather than miss work going to court in Tacoma.

The magistrate also commended the park ranger for doing her job well.

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