I am happy to have served the people of Stevens County as Prosecuting Attorney for the past twelve years and look forward to the challenges ahead. Looking back, I am pleased at the progress the office has made in many areas.
Over the years, I have been able to maintain an excellent staff of attorneys who carry on the work of criminal prosecution and who look after the civil aspects of county government. The need for skilled attorneys is growing as the demands of an increased case load of criminal cases is encountered and the demands on the civil representation of the county increases as well.
With the help of Information Services, we have introduced improvements in technology to make the office more efficient. We purchased and installed a new case management software program for superior court cases. It is our intention to migrate the district court documents we produce onto the same document management system, but that presents some particular issues.
We have expanded services to the public by opening a public document office and added a victim services coordinator. We support the new Mental Health facility with an attorney and manage the paperwork involved for the judges and clerk.
There have been some recent support staff changes. Longtime employee Vicki Fosback has recently retired. She served the county for many years and we will miss her. Change is hard, and a person with Vicki’s skill and knowledge cannot be replaced, but we will manage and adjust to her absence.
To fill her position and another recent vacancy, I have hired two new workers who will fit in well in the office. Esther Keenan and Michelle Enright will begin in the office on Jan 17. Both of them are long-time county employees who will add their talents and skills to our office and we welcome them.
Discussions have begun with the county commissioners on the establishment of a broad diversion program to take pressure off the over-taxed courts and understaffed jail. I hope to be able to put a diversion program into place shortly to partially address this growing issue. What we need is a new jail, but financing that is beyond the scope of anything anybody can do without public support.
I promise to continue to conduct the business of the Prosecuting Attorney in an open and honest manner. I do not have all the answers, but I am not afraid to make hard decisions when necessary. I will continue to do the best I can to protect the rights of citizens to live in peace and dignity and to hold accountable those who injure our peace and safety.
(STEVENS COUNTY PROSECUTOR TIM RASSMUSSEN)