OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
WADE L. WHITING
CROOK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
WHY DID YOU BECOME A PROSECUTOR?
I became a prosecutor to make a difference in my community. I started my career in private practice but after a few years decided to dedicate my career to public service. There is great career satisfaction in knowing that my work helps to make our community a safer place to live.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK?
The most rewarding part of being a prosecutor is working side by side with our local law enforcement agencies. I have great admiration and respect for those that put their lives on the line each and every day protecting and serving our community. To see the dedication our officers put into their work is truly inspiring. I am proud to be associated with our local police force.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR WORK?
The most difficult part of being a prosecutor is seeing the impact of crime on victims. I am deeply sympathetic of the fact that victims do not ask to be thrust into the criminal justice system. They are here because of the poor choices made by someone else. It is difficult to explain to a victim that has suffered a traumatic event that the criminal justice system is set up to protect the due process rights of the defendant and a resolution may take some time. All prosecutors carry a heavy burden knowing a victim counts on you to ensure that justice will be served on their behalf.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND THE WORK YOU DO?
I would like the public to know that we seek justice first and foremost. We do not seek the maximum prison sentence on every case and my office does not track conviction rates. Sometimes the most appropriate resolution to a criminal case is community service and paying restitution, others some jail time and substance abuse treatment. Other crimes are so horrific that we seek the maximum penalty available under the law to punish the defendant and protect the community going forward. We analyze s each case differently. We review police reports and evidence, speak with victims and consult with defense attorneys before crafting a resolution. We strive to resolve each case in the best interest of justice.
DO YOU HAVE VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES IN WHICH YOU PARTICIPATE?
Members of our office participate every week in providing food for school aged children to take home on the weekends. We meet at a local church and with donated food from the community, organize the various food items into carry home bags. We then deliver the bags to the local elementary, middle school and high schools on Friday morning. Children that qualify for the
free lunch program are then discretely provided a take home bag on Friday to bring home for the weekend. Our hope is that the children will have enough food over the weekend until they come back to school on the weekdays to receive free breakfast and lunch.
OF THE WORK OF YOUR OFFICE, WHAT MAKES YOU THE MOST PROUD?
Prosecuting offenders who have committed crimes against children is among the most important
work we do. Children are vulnerable, innocent and worthy of every protection under the law.
When a report is made of suspected child abuse, we work collaboratively with the police, child
protective services, schools and other community organizations to gather facts, make important
placement decisions and charge cases. The best interest of the child going forward is the most
important factor in our decision making process.
Observing the effects that sexual, physical and emotional abuse has upon a young child is
heartbreaking. However, working with so many individuals who are dedicated to protecting our
community’s most vulnerable and holding offenders who harm children accountable is the most
fulfilling aspect of our work.
Our office supports and actively participates in Drug Court which is a
specialized program that targets criminal defendants with pending cases
who have alcohol and other drug dependent issues. Defendants must
engage in intensive out-patient treatment, submit multiple UAs a week,
attend support group meetings such Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics
Anonymous, report regularly to their probation officer and attend court
hearings twice a week to report on their progress. The program allows
additional supervision from many community partners and holds offenders
accountable to report to the judge twice a month how they are
Our county has seen remarkable results and amazing success stories
from our Drug Count graduates.