OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
WASHINGTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
WHY DID YOU BECOME A PROSECUTOR?
I chose to become a prosecutor because I have a strong desire to help people and serve my community. I believe everyone has a right to live, work, and raise a family without fear of crime. Over my career, I have prosecuted many of our most serious crimes, including murder, child abuse, sex trafficking, domestic violence, home burglaries, and elder abuse.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK?
The most rewarding part of serving as a prosecutor is helping crime victims, especially vulnerable victims such as children and older adults.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR WORK?
The most difficult part of being a prosecutor is constantly being exposed to the worst of what people can do to each other. During my many years prosecuting child abuse crimes, people would frequently ask me “why” or “how” I worked on those types of cases. The answer to that question is because I believe I can help make a positive difference.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND THE WORK YOU DO?
I would like people to know that the work we do in the DA’s Office is the result of the partnership and collaboration of many people. Whether it is the lawyer in the courtroom, the support staff in the office, or the police officer in the field, we are all dedicated to the common goal of seeking justice and protecting our community.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE COMMUNITY TO BETTER UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?
Our criminal justice system is a fundamentally fair system that is run by people who genuinely care about our community. Importantly, our system is part of our “participatory democracy.” This means that the system is controlled and operated by members of our community who have direct input into how it runs. The district attorney, sheriff, and judges are all elected officials chosen by the community. The laws we enforce are all created either by elected legislators or ballot measures, which are voted on by the community. And the ultimate decisions about whether to file certain charges or convict a defendant is quite often made by jurors, who are members of our community. All of these safeguards work to make our system here in Oregon a true representation of our community’s values.
DO YOU HAVE VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES IN WHICH YOU PARTICIPATE?
I am a member of the Governing Board for CARES Northwest. CARES is a collaborative, community-based medical program whose mission is to stop child abuse and neglect through multidisciplinary prevention, medical evaluation and ongoing treatment in partnership with the community. I am also a member of the Oregon Attorney General’s Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention Advisory Council. Additionally, I frequently volunteer to speak about issues related to preventing child abuse and neglect.
WHAT WORK OF YOUR OFFICE MAKES YOU THE MOST PROUD?
I am proud to be able to work with so many talented, genuine, and kind people. The prosecutors and staff in our office are all committed to serving our community and helping crime victims through what can often be a difficult court process. Additionally, the work of a prosecutor is not done in isolation. We collaborate with other people and agencies in our community, including law enforcement, social workers, medical personnel, teachers, and others who all have the common goal of keeping people safe.
PROGRAMS IN OUR OFFICE:
A prosecutor’s responsibilities are to seek justice and protect the community. While this may often mean aggressively prosecuting crimes, especially violent crimes and crimes committed against vulnerable persons, it can also mean looking for creative solutions. I believe prosecutors should be open to pursuing innovative ways to prevent crime through proven specialty courts and programs that address the underlying cause of crime while ensuring public safety and personal accountability.
In the Washington County DA’s Office, we utilize the following specialty court and programs that seek to address the underlying causes of crimes while also ensuring public safety and personal accountability:
Integrated Re-Entry Supervision and Services (IRISS) (intensive treatment program for non-violent defendants who are dealing with drug addiction issues)
Family Sentencing Alternative Program (FSAP) (intensive treatment program for non-violent defendants who are parents and who are dealing with drug addiction issues)
Drug Court (intensive drug treatment program for select non-violent defendants who are dealing with drug addiction issues)
Mental Health Court (focused treatment program for select non-violent offenders with mental health needs)
Veterans Court (a collaborative effort among the Washington County District Attorney's Office, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Washington County Circuit Court, Washington County Community Corrections, and Washington County Veterans Services to assist veterans who have addiction or mental health challenges)
Early Case Resolution (ECR) program provides an immediate plea opportunity for select non-violent misdemeanor and felony crimes to promote justice without delay and court efficiency
Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing (DVDS) program provides a path toward rehabilitation while ensuring personal accountability for select first-time domestic violence offenders
Diversion programs promote rehabilitation and an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction for select non-violent offenders
Juvenile Second Look provides opportunity for select juvenile defendants in the adult criminal system to earn early release to court-monitored strict supervision in order to promote rehabilitation