White powder in Jefferson County Courthouse found to be boric acid

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — The discovery of white powder in the Jefferson County Courthouse restroom disrupted governmental business for several hours Friday before authorities determined it to be boric acid.

Two District Court clerk employees found the powder in a second-floor women's restroom stall at about 9:30 a.m. and called 9-1-1.

The powder was analyzed by a State Patrol hazardous materials technician, said Officer Luke Bogues, Port Townsend Police Department spokesman, at about 1 p.m.

“It's an inert substance,” Bogues said, adding that it is often used as an antiseptic.

Police did not know how or why the powder was spread around the restroom, he said.

The courthouse was not evacuated, but employees and visitors were asked to stay in their offices, and no one was allowed into the building until about 11:30 a.m. after the State Patrol determined the powder wasn't toxic.

The State Patrol also brought a bomb disposal robot from its Bremerton office.

East Jefferson Fire-Rescue and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office also assisted.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to phone police at 360-385-2322.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 18. 2014 5:37PM
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