Seven apply for open seat on the Benton Franklin Superior Court

Seven people applied for the opening on the Benton Franklin Superior Court created by the retirement of Judge Cameron Mitchell. Governor Jay Inslee picks judges to fill empty seats on superior courts until the next election. Governor Jay Inslee’s Deputy Communications Director Mike Faulk reported that the following people applied:

  • Ajax, Shelley
  • McKinley, Douglas
  • Rodriguez, Norma
  • Ruff, Diana
  • Sams, Talesha
  • Sperline, Jeffrey
  • Tindell, Alan

“The Governor’s Office of General Counsel has interviewed all the candidates and is currently vetting the candidate pool. The goal is to have the governor announce an appointee later this month,” Faulk wrote in an email to the Observer.

“Swanberg for Judge – Hell no!”  Local resident purchased the judge’s former URL

An anonymous Tri-Cities resident who describes themself as “a concerned taxpayer and resident of the Tri-Cities area,” purchased Benton Franklin Superior Court Judge Sam Swanberg’s internet domain registration for swanbergforjudge that expired in 2018. The site is now being used to push Swanberg to resign due to recent allegations of domestic violence and harassment. The anonymous resident joins the Tri-City Herald editorial board in urging that Swanberg resign. The board recently wrote that “…it isn’t fair to expect citizens to go before a judge who is under such a heavy cloud of doubt.”

Swanberg ran without opposition in 2018 for a term ending in January 2022. So far no one has announced that they will run against him this year.

Comments are back at the Tri-City Herald

After disappearing for several weeks, the comment section has returned to the end of news stories. If you have an opinion on a story in the Herald, you now have a place to write it.

Didier abstains on vote for new Franklin County Human Resources Director

With two votes and one abstention, on Jan. 25 the Franklin County Commission promoted Human Resources Generalist Eric Wyant to Director of Human Resources. Wyant joined the Human Resources Department in 2016. Commission Chair Clint Didier abstained with no explanation.

Former Human Resources Director Carlee Nave and Public Works Director Matt Mahoney both gave notice that they would leave at the end of the year. The public works position is still open.