Clallam County prosecuting attorney to step down Dec. 31

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Deborah Kelly, Clallam County's elected Prosecuting Attorney since January 2003, has announced that she will step down at the end of this year.

Kelly, 60, made the announcement in a Friday letter to the Board of County Commissioners. Her term was scheduled to expire at the end of 2014.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve this community as Prosecuting Attorney for the past 11 years but it is time for me to step down,” Kelly wrote.

Prosecuting Attorney is one of two partisan positions in county government, the other being commissioner.

Since Kelly is a Republican, the Clallam County Republican Party will select three candidates for the commissioners to interview after Kelly's resignation.

County Administrator Jim Jones said the tentative plan is to hold the interviews at the Jan. 6 work session and make a selection at the Jan. 7 board meeting.

Whomever is chosen to serve out the remainder of Kelly's term will face election in November 2014 or step down on Dec. 31, 2014.

“I am comfortable that my Chief Deputy, Mark Nichols, can manage the transition while the process plays out to select your choice for this office and hope that you will select him as acting Prosecuting Attorney,” Kelly said in her letter.

Kelly recently prosecuted the seven-week retrial of Darold Stenson in Kitsap County Superior Court in Port Orchard.

Stenson was found guilty on Tuesday of two counts of aggravated murder for the 1993 shooting deaths of his wife and business partner near Sequim.

Meanwhile, Kelly's husband has been battling health problems.

“As you are aware, personal matters developed last year which competed for my focus on the job and community,” Kelly said in her letter to the board.

“Despite this, when the Stenson case returned for retrial, I felt I had a duty to see the case through completion. That is now done and it is time to give my family my entire attention.”

Kelly continued: “I have taken my duties seriously and striven to act for the benefit of our citizenry and the good of the county. My only regret is in leaving the outstanding folk who work so incredibly hard in this office.”
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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 16. 2013 5:41AM
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