Still no decision on prosecutor


MONTESANO — Grays Harbor County Commissioner Frank Gordon says he’s still looking at scenarios to see if there’s a way to get Michael Spencer formally considered as a candidate for Grays Harbor prosecutor.

Gordon tabled discussion of the appointment process Monday morning for the vacant prosecutor position for another week.

Deputy Prosecutor Katie Svoboda emerged as the top pick of the Grays Harbor Democrats’ precinct committee officers on Oct. 3. Other candidates on the list include Grays Harbor Democratic Chairman George Smylie, an attorney for the state, and former Democratic chairwoman Vini Samuel, an attorney from Montesano. Smylie and Samuel both support Svoboda for the position and were nominated specifically to keep Spencer, a former Democratic prosecutor, off the list and make Svoboda the likely choice for the Republican-dominated county commissioners.

Commissioners Wes Cormier and Herb Welch are Republicans. Gordon is a Democrat, although he says he’s a “pissed off Democrat” at this point.

If the commissioners don’t appoint a person by the end of November, the whole process goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for a decision.

Commissioner Cormier says he’s been researching a scenario to see what would happen if all three commissioners abstained from voting.

Cormier says it appears that the governor still wouldn’t get the appointment until the 60-day clock runs out, but he’s waiting for final confirmation of that.

Gordon says he’s looking at scenarios of what would happen if the county appoints Samuel or Smylie for the post and if they decline the position — whether the process then would have to go back to the Democrats for a new list, or the commissioners would be forced to pick Svoboda, who would be the remaining candidate.