OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
CLATSOP COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
WHY DID YOU BECOME A PROSECUTOR?
I’ve known I wanted to be a prosecutor since I was a reporter at age 19 in college. I always wanted to protect the vulnerable and innocent. As a journalist, I realized that meant being a prosecutor.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK?
I love to personally try cases and achieve justice for victims, particularly in domestic violence, sex abuse and violent crime cases. I still cry when I get letters or emails years later from victims thanking me for helping to change their lives.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR WORK?
The hardest part of my work is losing trials where I know the defendants were guilty or worse case, where I had to dismiss a case for extrinsic reasons (a witness vanished). The part of my job I actually dislike is begging the county for money to run my office.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND THE WORK YOU DO?
I want people to know that my politics are much more nuanced than people expect. That I/we do not “count convictions.” I want them to know that most convicted criminals don’t go to prison.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE COMMUNITY TO BETTER UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?I would like the community to better understand that prison is the “lifetime achievement award” for persistent and violent criminal activity. Seventy percent of people in prison are there because they committed a violent crime. The state of Oregon spends more on public defenders than they spend on prosecutors.
DO YOU HAVE VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES IN WHICH YOU PARTICIPATE?
I have been a volunteer jazz DJ on KMUN-FM for 22 years. I’ve been a volunteer actor in a community theater group for 25 years. I’ve been a Rotarian for 24 years and a volunteer for Clatsop County Food Bank.
OF THE WORK OF YOUR OFFICE, WHAT MAKES YOU THE MOST PROUD?
I am most proud of the stable and professional staff we have in the office. We have no drama or turnover. We have a reputation as an office, of being relentless yet fair. We have never been accused of either going after enemies or protecting friends. I’m also proud that I am a person known to keep my promises.
Diversion Programs and/or Alternative Sentencing Programs and community engagement programs.
Drug Court – for a wide range of crimes, often allowing dismissal upon successful completion of probation or Drug Court.
Mental Health Court – offering criminal defendants specialized mental health treatment and extra changes to become law abiding citizens through treatment
416 downward departure program in cooperation with Community Justice.
Family Drug Court – where parents who are subjects of dependency petitions have their legal cases coordinated