Letter: Selection process was transparent

Published:

 

As vice president of the Clark County Bar Association, I’m responding to Ronald Morrison’s Aug. 12 letter, “Selection process is skewed,” criticizing the Clark County Bar for its role in the process choosing a replacement for Judge Roger Bennett on our Superior Court bench.

Four attorneys and two Superior Court commissioners applied for Bennett’s position. The Clark County Bar Association had no role in choosing these candidates; anyone meeting the minimum qualifications was eligible.

Additionally, the CCBA, as an organization, did not endorse or lobby for any of the candidates with the governor’s office.

Gov. Gregoire’s office engaged in a thorough vetting of the candidates including reviewing written applications, considering interviews conducted with each of the candidates by bar associations in King County, interviewing local attorneys and judges, and checking the candidates’ references. The governor also considered a poll conducted by the CCBA designed to reflect the opinions of local attorneys.

Finally, Gov. Gregoire personally interviewed two finalists before choosing Dan Stahnke. Stahnke will serve out the remainder of Bennett’s term and then stand for election.

The process that Gregoire used to choose a replacement was thorough, detailed and transparent. The CCBA is happy to have been able to assist in that process. Morrison’s claim that the process was skewed is meritless.

John Fairgrieve

Vancouver