Volume 8, Number 17 - July 17, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
County Attorney ‘Short List’ Is Ready
With hopefuls Mike Crosson, Lucky McMahon and Marilyn Filkins getting the nod to advance to the next phase of the appointment process for the vacant Sublette County Attorney seat, the Sublette County Commission will make its selection today. Members of the Republican Party gathered in the Sublette County Commissioners’ room Monday evening to choose three candidates from eight applicants for commissioners’ consideration to make the Sublette County Attorney appointment.
The committee set its meeting after Ralph Boynton resigned from the County Attorney’s position on July 3, with the commissioners primed to make the appointment today, July 17, at 3 p.m.
Six applicants attended Monday’s meeting with each allowed three minutes to speak to the party members. Voting members made three secret-ballot selections that were then tallied with the three with the most votes going before the commissioners. Crosson, the current investigator and information officer for the county attorney’s office who has served as a deputy county attorney, received the most votes with 14, followed by Deputy County Attorney Lucky McMahon with nine and Marilyn Filkins, a former deputy county attorney, with seven.
Deputy County Attorney Jonathan Foreman received six votes with Chief Deputy County Attorney Meredith Oakes Peterson receiving five Deputy County Attorney Allegra Davis received two votes.
Monday night each candidate took three minutes to reply as to how long each had been a member of the Republican Party.
Crosson said that he had been a member of the GOP for four years. Raised on a ranch in Sweetwater County, Crosson said, “I’m nothing but a good old country boy at heart.”
In his three-minute speeche,Crosson said, “Obviously there’s some serious personnel issues going on in the Sublette County Attorney’s Office that need to be addressed.” He said there was major division in the office that is not all that uncommon.
In his previous experience in Sweetwater County, Crosson said he saw the county attorney operate with a two-building office as there is in Pinedale with attorneys in Rock Springs and Green River, handling personnel issues effectively.
“However, that just wasn’t the case in this office,” he said.
While Boynton was a brilliant man and a great attorney, Crosson said, he never dealt with any personnel issues, which he said need to be resolved.
“I have no idea what the allegations against him were,” Crosson said. “He always treated me fairly, but I can say from personal experience he didn’t treat all the employees in the office the way I would have treated them.”
To address personnel issues, he said there would be meetings every Monday and more often if needed, as well as a table session to get everything on the table.
Crosson also noted the office’s trial record was unacceptable with 16 out of 20 cases lost.
“I don’t think that’s the entirely the fault of the deputy county attorneys,” he said. “There (are) certain things I’d do to increase those odds.”
Coming from a large metropolitan area, McMahon said that she purposely sought out a small town and Pinedale.
“I moved hear, I love it here, and I plan to make my home here,” she said. McMahon said that her experience in Sublette County has been working on felony and juvenile cases during her 15-month tenure in Pinedale.
McMahon said she joined the Republican Party since shortly after moving to Pinedale.
In addressing office administration, McMahon said, “If the positions are filled with competent, ethical people and they are, then you just need to let them do their job.”
As for general housekeeping, McMahon said that she’d like the county attorney’s office to have a procedural manual.
“So everybody would know what to expect out of their jobs,” she said. In court issues, McMahon said she would like more continuity in charges and sentences.
“It should not be random,” she said. “Continuity builds trust and it builds credibility not only with the community but with the judges that preside over our district and circuit court,” she said.
She also said the county attorney’s office should get behind the newly created juvenile diversion program and support the drug court.
“In conclusion, I believe that I am up for the task,” she said. “If you decide that I’m not, then I’ll go back to work and work happily along side the people that I work with and I will do my best to enrich and improve the Sublette County Attorney’s Office... I want the justice system in the county to be something that this community can be proud of. ”A 30-year member of the GOP, Filkins initially relayed her experiences working as a prosecutor in both Sublette and Sweetwater counties.
Having previously worked as a deputy county attorney, Filkins said that in Sublette County she’s prosecuted, worked as a civil attorney and worked with juveniles as well as served as the drug court attorney with special training.
“I want to restore the professionalism in the County Attorney’s Office,” she said, adding she wants to provide administration for the office and oversight of the attorneys and staff.
“All the attorneys in the office need to be without conflicts of interest and committed to serving the county,” she said.
“The top concern for me is community safety,” Filkins said, adding as county attorney she would hire a High Intensity Drug Traffic Area attorney to be funded by US Attorney’s Office, not the county.
“If appointed, I plan to form an effective prosecution team to successfully prosecute offenders and win trials,” she said. “This is going to make our community a safe place to live.”
Filkens also said, “Drug Court – I would like to restore drug court officially. I would also like to have juvenile drug court.”
She also said of juveniles, attention would be given to the juvenile foster placement in the county.
“Judgment is the touchstone of the County Attorney’s Office,” she said, adding that comes from experience and commitment to the county. “I believe I have that experience and judgment.” Although not in attendance Monday, attorney Tim Cotton received five votes and attorney Tom Barnes received three.
The select three candidates will be interviewed in executive session Thursday before the commissioners make their choice.
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