Lt. Gov. Owen's son pleads not guilty to theft

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The son of Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen, 39-year-old Mark Lee Owen, has pleaded not guilty in Olympia to forgery and theft charges arising from disability payments.

The 39-year-old was allowed to remain out of jail without bail following Tuesday's arraignment in Thurston County Superior Court.

The state Department of Labor and Industries accuses him of defrauding the state of more than $19,000.

The Olympian reports (http://is.gd/lyQZpW ) Owen and his lawyer declined to comment outside court.

Owen had filed a claim after he was shot in the arm in 2009 at a workplace in Kent. Court papers say he returned to work while still receiving compensation and claiming he was unable to work.

A spokesman for Lt. Gov. Owen said he's aware of the charges but has no comment.

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Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com