Local political operative busted in Internet sting

Local political operative busted in Internet sting
SEATTLE - An arrest is sending shockwaves through the halls of local political power.

Larry Corrigan has worked on a number of Republican campaigns, but now he's in jail after he was caught in an Internet sting, accused of trying to solicit sex from young girls.

Corrigan's orange jail uniform he was wearing in court Thursday is a far cry from the business suit he wore at the King County Prosecutor's Office for 25 years.

Until last year, Corrigan was the Director of Operations and Budget. Now he's suspected of attempted child rape and communicating with a minor for sex.

"The suspect was communicating online with someone whom he believed was a 13 year old girl." said Debra Brown with the Seattle Police Department. "In fact, that person was a detective from our Internet Crimes Against Children unit."

Seattle police say Corrigan used the AOL screen name LCOR102 to chat with the fictitious 13-year-old girl. Court documents say he bragged he'd already "had sex with a 14-year-old girl from Kansas."

Police say LCOR102 eventually switched to the screen name Palisade199. Detectives say he told the 13 year old he was in his 50's and asked her to meet and perform a very specific sex act.

Police say Corrigan also sent the fictitious girl e-mails that contained pornographic images of the kind of sex he wanted to have.

Court documents say on Wednesday, Corrigan showed up at a Capitol Hill video store to meet the fictitious girl. Instead, police threw him in jail. They also searched his Magnolia home and seized his computer.

News of Corrigan's arrest swept through the corridors of Republican power in King County. Sources describe him as a longtime political operative; a former right hand man to King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng.

Sources say Corrigan also worked on previous sheriff's campaigns for now-Congressman Dave Reichert.

Now, Corrigan finds himself snared in an Internet police sting aimed at online predators.

"We're out there aggressively looking for these guys," Brown said. "And unfortunately, this gentleman was caught."

The judge ruled Thursday evening that Corrigan would be allowed to go home without posting bail.

Meanwhile, the King County prosecutor's office issued a statement expressing shock over Corrigan's arrest. One of his co-workers declined an on-camera interview, but said "this is not the Larry" she knows.

Because Corrigan is a former employee, the King County prosecutor's office is asking the state attorney general's office to handle the case.