The Clallam County Commissioners have appointed Bruce Hanify to the District Court 2 judge position, which handles misdemeanor criminal cases and small claims civil violations that arise on the West End.

The Clallam County Commissioners have appointed Bruce Hanify to the District Court 2 judge position, which handles misdemeanor criminal cases and small claims civil violations that arise on the West End.

West End District Court judge named

Forks High School graduate to take over in February

PORT ANGELES — The West End has a new judge.

Bruce Hanify, 63, was appointed Tuesday to serve the remainder of the term of retiring Clallam County District Court 2 Judge Erik Rohrer.

Hanify is a Cowlitz County criminal defense attorney and a 1975 Forks High School graduate. He will serve until the 2022 general election.

County Commissioners Bill Peach and Mark Ozias voted Tuesday — with Randy Johnson excused — to appoint Hanify as District Court 2 judge.

“I’m looking forward to working with Judge Hanify,” said Peach, who represents the West End district.

“He’s very definitely focused on engaging with the community, and we look forward to that,” Peach said.

Commissioners interviewed four candidates for the position and announced their selection after an executive session Nov. 30.

In a December interview, Hanify said he was eager to return to his hometown and would work to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior.

District Court 2 handles misdemeanor criminal cases and small claims civil violations that arise on the West End. The three-days-per-week position pays about $98,000 per year.

Rohrer announced last September he will retire effective Feb. 1.

County Administrator Rich Sill said Hanify began working Jan. 16 to attending training this week.

Hanify was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Hanify will have the option of running for the position in the 2022 general election.

Hanify worked 15 years as a deputy prosecuting attorney, mostly in Yakima County, before moving to Cowlitz County to work in criminal defense in 2007.

He and his family have regularly vacationed on the West End.

Districting Commission

In other board action Tuesday, commissioners appointed Brad Collins, Jim McEntire, Beverly Hetrick-Oosterveld, John Teichert and Walter Livingston to the Clallam County Districting Commission.

The ad hoc committee will hire a technical expert to propose new county commissioner district boundaries based on the results of the 2020 U.S. Census.

“There is a robust public process of taking input and then ultimately the redistricting commission is charged with actually making the decision about redistricting,” Ozias said Tuesday.

Each commissioner appointed one member to the committee, and the local Democratic and Republican parties each appointed one member. The selections were announced last month.

“The biggest unknown at this point is when we will get the census data, whether that will be on time or not,” Ozias said.

“That remains to be seen, but we are going to go ahead and stand up this committee and get them started.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at rollikainen@ peninsuladailynews.com.

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