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Office of the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney 930 Tacoma Avenue South Room 946 Tacoma, WA 98402-2171 (253) 798-7400 May 13, 2003 Honorable Gary Locke Governor State of Washington Executive Office Legislative Building Olympia, WA 98504 Dear Governor Locke: The following annual report represents the year ending December 31, 2002. Very truly yours, GERALD A, HORNE Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney GAH:sv 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS STATEMENT – GERALD A. HORNE............................................................................ 3 ADMINISTRATION ......................................................................................................... 12 CIVIL DIVISION .............................................................................................................. 14 CRIMINAL DIVISIONS ................................................................................................... 23 Felony Division ................................................................................................................... 25 Misdemeanor/Traffic ......................................................................................................... 29 Juvenile Division................................................................................................................. 31 Investigative Services Unit................................................................................................. 32 VWAS.................................................................................................................................. 33 El CID ................................................................................................................................. 33 FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION ....................................................................................... 34 2 As an office, we had a tremendous year in 2002. Our Family Support Division was innovative and aggressive in protecting the rights of children and families with regards to fathers who try to evade their responsibilities. Our juvenile crime rate continued to go down. Our District Court deputies admirably sought to stem the tide of domestic violence and affected drivers through prosecuting 1,902 “drunk” drivers and 1,088 domestic violence offenders. Our felony deputies continued to carry the heaviest caseloads of any of the large counties while maintaining a conviction rate comparable to the best offices. Our civil Division had another great year in defending the county against lawsuits, and keeping our settlements among the lowest in the state. One of our civil attorneys even argued an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court and prevailed, reversing a decision of our State Supreme Court. Undaunted by the most difficult cases in 2002, our deputy prosecutors prevailed by getting the truth to the jury in the face of the most fierce opposition. Not surprisingly, our trial attorneys have earned a reputation of preeminence, as few if any other attorneys face comparable seasoning through years of the most intense and frequent trial battles. I am humbled and pleased to serve with these unusually dedicated public servants. In view of the expectations placed on each and every person in this office, Churchill-type words could apply, as seldom does history show where so much is done by so few for so many (in this county). Felony Crime Rate Reduced. The year 2002 was hopefully a turning point in the never -ending spiral of increasing felony prosecutions during the past 15 years. Both the numbers of police referrals and the numbers of offenders charged with felonies decreased. We prosecuted 6,003 felons in 2002, as compared to the 6,575 felons we charged in 2001. The number of police referrals for felony prosecutions in 2002 similarly dipped by 840 (from 10,009 to 9,169). We are grateful for the decline, but had hoped for an even greater reduction, setting a goal of cutting our crime rate in half within a 5-year period. We knew that the goal could be reached, but only if we had cooperation from state policy makers, primarily the Department of Corrections (DOC) and DSHS, and the shifting of convict programs to the north Seattle-Everett-Bellevue areas which have been underrepresented in convict programs during the past 35 years. Unfortunately in 2002, DOC wouldn't even admit to the abusive saturation of the Tacoma area with prison convicts, much less agree to change policy of Tacoma/Lakewood as the primary siting areas for prison convict programs. In 2001, our Pierce County Prosecutors Office convicted 19.7% of all the felons convicted in the state (per statistics kept by the Office of the Administrator of the Courts). Our prosecutors convicted almost as many felons as huge King County, which convicted 21.1% of the state’s felons in 2001. King County’s population is 2 ½ times larger than Pierce’s. Our dedicated prosecutors convicted more felons than the combined total convicted by the next three largest counties, Snohomish (6.6%), Spokane (5.4%) and Clark (6.4%). It had become readily apparent that within another 10 to 15 years, Pierce County would be convicting 25% of all the state’s felons if changes were not made by state policy-makers regarding their practice of saturating the Tacoma/Lakewood areas with prison convicts via 3 programs for drug addicts, sex offenders, developmentally disabled offenders, juvenile sex offenders, and state convicts completing their prison sentences in work release and prerelease facilities. Juvenile Crime’s Downward Trend Continued. In 2002 the number of juvenile cases referred for charging was reduced for the 4th year in a row! This reduction occurred despite the fact that the numbers of young people in our schools continues to grow rapidly! We take great pleasure in seeing the lowest rates of juvenile crime since the ‘60’s. We applaud all our citizens who have really cared about our young people, particularly “at risk” youth, and have given time and energy to guide them. We also applaud all the organizations, particularly our county’s schools and professionals at Remann Hall, for their efforts on behalf of our school age citizens. We also applaud our youth, and look forward to their contributions as adults, as we continue to make Pierce County a safer place to live. Serial Killer Yates and other Notorious Offenders. In 2002 our office completed prosecutions of some of this state’s most notorious criminal cases. A jury gave serial killer Robert Yates the death penalty for his killing of two vulnerable women in our county, Yates had also killed vulnerable women in Spokane and other counties. The final two defendants in the “Trang Dai Massacre” were sentenced to prison for “life without parole” for their roles in the shooting deaths of five persons and the wounding of five others at a Tacoma café. The Trang Dai incident highlighted brilliant investigations by Tacoma detectives who also solved the ensuing gunshot murder of a state’s witness through the victim’s bedroom window. The witness killing had been timed to take place prior to the trial of the last two Trang Dai killers. The two witness killers pleaded guilty to First Degree Murder charges. Upon a second retrial, Brian Eggleston was again convicted of murder for his slaying of Deputy Sheriff John Bananola during service of a search warrant at the killer’s home. The meticulously planned ambush murder in 1995 of young executive Robert Henry as he left his office led to the 2002 First Degree Murder conviction of the killer (Robert Shandola). With great resolve and dogged determination, detective Yerbury had uncovered the circumstances of the stealth killing by Shandola. Finally in 2002, an important measure of justice was obtained in the shooting death of Ann Harris even though the killer (Campbell Alefaio) had been acquitted of murder charges in an earlier trial. Alefaio and his 3 friends were convicted of perjury charges for the testimony that had caused the earlier murder acquittal of Alefaio. Alefaio and one of his perjury co- conspirators were sentenced to prison for 10 years; two other perjury co-conspirators received 5- year sentences. Crimes Against the Environment. During 2002, our civil deputy prosecutors vigorously pursued persons who have been jeopardizing our environment via massive junkyards, to include commercial junkyards. This campaign against the “Dirty Dozen” was inspired by Executive John Ladenburg, and led to substantial jail sentences for some offenders. Numerous 4 accumulations of junk and garbage were cleaned-up during this campaign, and served notice to other offenders to cease, desist and clean up before we take action through criminal and civil statutes. 5 Reported Murders in Washington State Year KING COUNTY PIERCE COUNTY SNOHOMISH COUNTY SKAGIT COUNTY WHATCOM COUNTY POPULATION POPULATION POPULATION POPULATION POPULATION 1990 83 1,507,319 46 586,203 12 465,642 3 79,555 2 127,780 1991 74 1,542,269 57 603,805 7 483,989 1 82,790 3 132,202 1992 95 1,564,454 56 624,002 11 494,291 0 85,493 4 137,100 1993 104 1,587,644 57 640,698 8 507,903 6 88,499 3 140,902 1994 105 1,599,431 64 648,902 12 516,501 3 91,002 6 144,997 1995 79 1,613,470 53 660,194 14 525,596 3 93,099 5 148,317 1996 70 1,628,728 45 665,200 14 538,100 1 95,499 4 152,801 1997 85 1,652,700 36 687,599 18 551,636 2 97,109 5 154,482 1998 77 1,671,685 46 703,636 9 564,884 2 99,175 4 158,512 1999 76 1,691,530 20 719,619 11 578,816 2 101,666 1 162,206 2000 58 1,735,223 33 699,447 10 605,508 4 102,876 5 166,651 2001 1,758,300 713,400 618,600 104,100 170,600 Rate (Rank)* 0.04 0.06 0.02 0.02 0.03 * Rate per thousand Source: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Annual Uniform Crime Reports. Data recorded in Washington State Office of Financial Management Criminal Justice Databook. Source: DSHS Research and Data Analysis Estimates using Washington State Office of Financial Management and Claritas, Inc. population totals. 6 Reported Violent Crimes in Washington State KING COUNTY PIERCE COUNTY SNOHOMISH COUNTY SKAGIT COUNTY WHATCOM COUNTY YEAR POPULATIO POPULATIO POPULATIO POPULATIO POPULATIO N N N N N 1990 10,790 1,507,319 4,873 586,203 1,048 465,642 112 79,555 338 127,780 1991 10,949 1,542,269 5,726 603,805 1,228 483,989 134 82,790 412 132,202 1992 11,281 1,564,454 5,710 624,002 1,138 494,291 179 85,493 367 137,100 1993 11,113 1,587,644 5,577 640,698 935 507,903 160 88,499 344 140,902 1994 10,256 1,599,431 5,941 648,902 1,004 516,501 169 91,002 418 144,997 1995 8,551 1,613,470 5,660 660,194 983 525,596 148 93,099 493 148,317 1996 8,101 1,628,728 4,866 665,200 988 538,100 183 95,499 464 152,801 1997 8,343 1,652,700 5,291 687,599 1,668 551,636 148 97,109 460 154,482 1998 7,848 1,671,685 4,878 703,636 1,677 564,884 148 99,175 465 158,512 1999 7,297 1,691,530 4,388 719,619 1,509 578,816 165 101,666 453 162,206 2000 7,460 1,735,223 4,544 699,447 1,436 605,508 141 102,876 372 166,651 2001 1,758,300 713,400 618,600 104,100 170,600 Rate (Rank)* 4.76 7.16 2.46 1.58 2.87 * Rate per thousand Source: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Annual Uniform Crime Reports. Data recorded in Washington State Office of Financial Management Criminal Justice Databook. Source: DSHS Research and Data Analysis Estimates using Washington State Office of Financial Management and Claritas, Inc. population totals. 7 REPORT ROBBERIES IN WASHINGTON STATE Year KING COUNTY PIERCE COUNTY SNOHOMISH COUNTY SKAGIT COUNTY WHATCOM COUNTY POPULATIO POPULATIO POPULATIO POPULATION POPULATION N N N 1990 3,507 1,507,319 1,315 586,203 248 465,642 15 79,555 54 127,780 1991 3,871 1,542,269 1,633 603,805 322 483,989 25 82,790 51 132,202 1992 3,718 1,564,454 1,548 624,002 338 494,291 41 85,493 39 137,100 1993 3,790 1,587,644 1,443 640,698 313 507,903 32 88,499 61 140,902 1994 3,813 1,599,431 1,445 648,902 228 516,501 28 91,002 60 144,997 1995 3,477 1,613,470 1,401 660,194 229 525,596 32 93,099 74 148,317 1996 3,230 1,628,728 1,218 665,200 210 538,100 45 95,499 92 152,801 1997 3,272 1,652,700 1,330 687,599 459 551,636 37 97,109 85 154,482 1998 2,843 1,671,685 1,305 703,636 412 564,884 44 99,175 91 158,512 1999 2,695 1,691,530 1,111 719,619 344 578,816 39 101,666 99 162,206 2000 2,652 1,735,223 1,205 699,447 322 605,508 39 102,876 73 166,651 2001 1,758,300 713,400 618,600 104,100 170,600 Rate (Rank)* 1.82 1.83 0.59 0.40 0.55 * Rate per thousand Source: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Annual Uniform Crime Reports. Data recorded in Washington State Office of Financial Management Criminal Justice Databook. Source: DSHS Research and Data Analysis Estimates using Washington State Office of Financial Management and Claritas, Inc. population totals. 8 REPORTED AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS IN WASHINGTON STATE YEAR KING COUNTY PIERCE COUNTY SNOHOMISH COUNTY SKAGIT COUNTY WHATCOM COUNTY POPULATIO POPULATI POPULATIO POPULATIO POPULATIO N ON N N N 1990 6,080 1,507,319 2,989 586,203 571 465,642 57 79,555 202 127,780 1991 5,709 1,542,269 3,430 603,805 640 483,989 53 82,790 290 132,202 1992 6,210 1,564,454 3,449 624,002 576 494,291 96 85,493 221 137,100 1993 5,998 1,587,644 3,663 640,698 398 507,903 75 88,499 198 140,902 1994 5,315 1,599,431 3,990 648,902 487 516,501 89 91,002 253 144,997 1995 4,122 1,613,470 3,820 660,194 472 525,596 73 93,099 300 148,317 1996 3,912 1,628,728 3,299 665,200 520 538,100 98 95,499 296 152,801 1997 4,252 1,652,700 3,540 687,599 811 551,636 72 97,109 269 154,482 1998 4,117 1,671,685 3,190 703,636 849 564,884 58 99,175 272 158,512 1999 3,873 1,691,530 2,909 719,619 715 578,816 90 101,666 234 162,206 2000 4,087 1,735,223 2,965 699,447 682 605,508 62 102,876 213 166,651 2001 1,758,300 713,400 618,600 104,100 170,600 Rate (Rank)* 2.44 4.77 1.20 0.77 1.68 Rate per thousand Source: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Annual Uniform Crime Reports. Data recorded in Washington State Office of Financial Management Criminal Justice Databook. Source: DSHS Research and Data Analysis Estimates using Washington State Office of Financial Management and Claritas, Inc. population totals. 9 Reported Forcible Rapes in Washington State YEAR KING COUNTY PIERCE COUNTY SNOHOMISH COUNTY SKAGIT COUNTY WHATCOM COUNTY POPULATIO POPULATI POPULATIO POPULATIO POPULATIO N ON N N N 1990 1,120 1,507,319 523 586,203 217 465,642 37 79,555 80 127,780 1991 1,295 1,542,269 606 603,805 259 483,989 55 82,790 68 132,202 1992 1,258 1,564,454 657 624,002 213 494,291 42 85,493 103 137,100 1993 1,221 1,587,644 414 640,698 216 507,903 47 88,499 82 140,902 1994 1,023 1,599,431 442 648,902 277 516,501 49 91,002 99 144,997 1995 873 1,613,470 386 660,194 268 525,596 40 93,099 114 148,317 1996 889 1,628,728 304 665,200 244 538,100 39 95,499 72 152,801 1997 734 1,652,700 385 687,599 380 551,636 37 97,109 101 154,482 1998 811 1,671,685 337 703,636 407 564,884 44 99,175 98 158,512 1999 653 1,691,530 348 719,619 439 578,816 34 101,666 119 162,206 2000 663 1,735,223 341 699,447 422 605,508 36 102,876 81 166,651 2001 1,758,300 713,400 618,600 104,100 170,600 Rate (Rank)* 0.46 0.51 0.64 0.39 0.62 * Rate per thousand Source: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Annual Uniform Crime Reports. Data recorded in Washington State Office of Financial Management Criminal Justice Databook. Source: DSHS Research and Data Analysis Estimates using Washington State Office of Financial Management and Claritas, Inc. population totals. 10 PIERCE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’S OFFICE STAFFING LEVEL BY DIVISION ATTORNEYS SUPPORT STAFF TOTAL Administration (Includes Prosecuting Attorney) 2 6 8 Civil Division 20 9 29 Felony Division 51 45.15 96.15 Appeals Unit 4 2 6 Juvenile Division 10 8.5 18.5 Misdemeanor Division 19 13 32 El Cid Program 2 2 Family Support 13 25 38 Total 119 110.65 229.65 The above table represents full-time employees of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Not included: Legal Interns and extra hire positions. 11 ADMINISTRATION Prosecuting Attorney Administrative Manager Administrative Deputy Human Resources Manager Administrative Secretary Accounting Assistant Dept. Information Services Technicians (2) Staffing level 8 12 PIERCE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY 2002 EXPENDITURES Salaries.................................................................................................... $13,279,751 Overtime .................................................................................................. .............. 101,712 Personnel Benefits................................................................................... ........... 2,852,227 Office/Operating Supplies ...................................................................... .............. 237,884 Minor Equipment ................................................................................... .............. 174,112 Professional Services .............................................................................. .............. 493,829 Communications ..................................................................................... .............. 252,036 Training & Travel................................................................................... .............. 137,444 Legal Advertising.................................................................................... ................ 13,400 Rent.......................................................................................................... .............. 516,000 Insurance ................................................................................................. .............. 337,739 Repairs/Maintenance.............................................................................. ................ 38,822 Miscellaneous .......................................................................................... .............. 899,695 (Witness fees, dues and memberships, other miscellaneous, filing fees, outside printing, quick copy, print shop county, sales tax payment, photo developing and print, extradition fees, radio communication reim, data processing, risk management loss & exp, records management, routing and delivery, operating transfers) Intergovernmental Services ................................................................... ................ 18,220 Capital ..................................................................................................... 4,069 OPERATING EXPENDITURES .......................................................... ....... $19,356,940 FUNDING DISTRIBUTION: COUNTY.............................................................................$15,282,213 GRANTS (FEDERAL and STATE)....................................$4,074,627 2000 REVENUE (INCLUDES GRANT REIMBURSEMENTS) ........... ..........$5,077,632 13 CIVIL DIVISION PIERCE COUNTY COUNCIL, EXECUTIVE AND ELECTED OFFICIALS, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS, CORONER-MEDICAL EXAMINER, CIVIL DIVISION ADMINISTRATION Chief Civil Deputy (1) LAND USE, ADVANCE PLANNING, CURRENT PLANNING HEARING EXAMINER, BUILDING DIVISION, FIRE PREVENTION BUREAU, PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT, “RAILS TO TRAILS” CONDEMNATIONS County Attorney (2) RISK MANAGEMENT, INSURANCE, TORT CLAIMS, LAWSUITS, LITIGATION, INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE County Attorney (4) PUBLIC WORKS AND UTILITIES DEPARTMENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES DIVISION County Attorney (1) ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES DIVISION ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES SOLID WASTE DIVISION AND ALL RELATED MATTERS County Attorney (1) STORM DRAINAGE AND SURFACE WATER MANAGEMENT UTILITY RIVER IMPROVEMENT County Attorney (1) BUDGET AND FINANCE, ASSESSOR/TREASURER, INDIAN LAW, PROCUREMENT & PURCHASING, SPECIAL PROJECTS County Attorney (1) PROPERTY TAX APPEALS AND LITIGATION County Attorney (1) PERSONNEL, EMPLOYMENT LAW AND UNION MATTERS, DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS AND LITIGATION County Attorney (2) CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, DEFERRED COMPENSATION, AUDITOR, BUSINESS LICENSES, BANKRUPTCY, COLLECTIONS, BOUNDARY REVIEW BOARD AND ASSET FORFEITURES County Attorney (1) COMMUNITY AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENTS, SEWER UTILITY County Attorney (1) PIERCE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT County Attorney (1) INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT County Attorney (1) SPECIAL PROJECTS, AUDITOR CLERK, ELECTIONS, ETHICS COMMISSION County Attorney (1) CIVIL CODE ENFORCEMENT County Attorney (1) County Attorneys (20) Paralegal (1) Legal Assistants (7) Office Assistant (1) Staffing Level (29) 14 CIVIL DIVISION The Civil Division provides legal counsel to all Pierce County Elected Officials, including the County Council, County Executive, the Superior and District Courts, Executive Department Heads, and numerous County Agencies and Departments. Serving in its role as an in-house law firm for the County, the Civil Division works closely with its clients in solving a wide range of legal problems by issuing formal written opinions and memoranda, providing day to day legal advice, and handling civil litigation to which Pierce County is a party, whether as plaintiff or defendant. In addition to providing legal counsel to the County Executive, County Council, and other County Departments, the Civil Division also handles litigation on behalf of its clients, since not all problems are amenable to resolution short of litigation. The range in types of legal services include such diverse areas as tort liability, public disclosure, labor, personnel and employment law, contracts and purchasing, human services, surface water management, utilities, taxation and bankruptcy, laws against discrimination, condemnation, public works construction, parks and recreation, Indian law, law enforcement matters, code enforcement, civil commitment, election law, business licensing, solid waste management, and the entire field of land use, growth management, and environmental law. In regard to litigation, the majority of cases handled by the Civil Division take place at the Pierce County Superior Court level, but the division is likewise active in other courts, both federal and state, as well as before various state, local and administrative bodies. In 2002, the Civil Division continued its emphasis of early stage legal consultation with our clients as a preventative strategy to heading off potential litigation. That strategy, combined with a determined and aggressive defense of lawsuits filed against Pierce County proved to be a successful deterrent in the County's favor. Highlights, litigation wise, included a major victory for Pierce County in a decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court. Argued by Civil Division attorneys, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in favor of Pierce County in an important case involving significant legal issues concerning road design issues applicable to Pierce County. (Pierce County v. Guillen, 2003 WL 104796) The Civil Division won several other important cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and numerous cases and dispositive motions in Superior Court. Additionally noteworthy, the Civil Division won a significant land use case before our State Supreme Court concerning the County's right to revoke permits when developers violate conditions of approval. The Civil Division also successfully represented Pierce County in a broad range of complex municipal law matters and received high praise for its legal efforts in the County-wide campaign against illegal dumps and junkyards. This overall effort resulted in significant benefits to the citizens of Pierce County and the environment. LABOR, PERSONNEL AND EMPLOYMENT LAW Each agency of County government is affected by employment issues, frequently on a daily basis. Most agencies also have labor issues that may impact their day to operations. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, through the Civil Division, represents the Department of Personnel and all County agencies in the areas of personnel, labor and employment law. This includes daily agency advice, representation before local, state, and federal administrative agencies, arbitration hearings, and all phases of complex litigation in both state and federal court. The nationwide explosion in employment-related lawsuits is evident in Pierce County as well. In 2002, the County successfully resolved several lawsuits involving allegations of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. The office is also working diligently to resolve more than 100 claims relating to a potential class-action overtime lawsuit. In addition to providing ongoing personnel advice, the office was responsible for prevailing in several administrative hearings before the Pierce County Civil Service Commission, the Pierce County Personnel Board, the Office of Administrative Hearings, and various labor arbitrators. Other major undertakings requiring legal counsel from the Civil Division included final transitioning into the new statewide PERS 3 retirement system, collective bargaining agreement negotiations, and Administrative Guideline revisions including new policies on Equal Employment Opportunity and Prevention of Violence in the Workplace. To accomplish their numerous responsibilities, deputy prosecutors regularly review legal journals and attend educational seminars allowing them to stay abreast of this difficult and constantly changing area of the law. 15 LAND USE, GROWTH MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Throughout 2002, the Civil Division continued to provide legal services to the Planning and Land Services Department, the Pierce County Hearing Examiner, and the Fire Prevention Bureau. Such services include general legal advice, representation of the Planning Department before the Examiner, administrative agencies such as the Growth Management Hearings Board and the Shorelines Hearings Board, and Washington State courts. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Civil Division, continues to work with the Planning Department in the preparation and adoption of land use legislation. In conjunction with such representation the Civil Division appears before the Planning Commission and County Council. Several major land use cases were handled by the Civil Division on behalf of the Planning Department in 2002, including the challenge to the plat of Fox Ridge, and Kapowsin Air Sports. Other land use cases included, Kenyon v. Pierce County, involving land use at the Crystal Mountain destination ski lodge area, and MBA v. Pierce County, involving the Parkland Spanaway Midland Community Plan and its implementation. The Civil Division, along with staff from several other county departments and state agencies, put forth a tremendous effort this year in tackling the “Dirty Dozen” junk yards which had become a major blight on the environment. Many sites were cleaned up and others are on the way to being cleaned up. FACILITIES MANAGEMENT The Civil Division provides transaction planning and negotiation advice and document preparation services to the Facilities Management Division with regard to the purchase and sale of real property by Pierce County. In 2002, the assigned civil deputy negotiated and drafted several purchase and sale agreements relating to the disposition of Pierce County's real property holdings on Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, one of which closed in December. In late 2002, two other transactions involving Pacific Avenue properties were negotiated and signed between Pierce County and a Seattle developer and are expected to close in mid-2003. PROPERTY TAX LITIGATION The Civil Division provides general legal advice to the Pierce County Assessor/Treasurer and his staff and represents the county in all litigation relating to the valuation, assessment and collection of real and personal property taxes pending before the Pierce County Board of Equalization, the Washington Board of Tax Appeals, and the superior and appellate courts of Washington. In 2002, the level of legal services provided by the Civil Division was consistent with prior years and the civil deputy assigned to this task devoted considerable time and attention to advising and representing the Assessor/Treasurer. Meanwhile, with the ongoing advice and assistance of the assigned civil deputy, outside counsel continued to represent Pierce County in a complex commercial tax appeal involving the 1996-2001 valuation and assessment of The Boeing Company's manufacturing facility in Frederickson that remained beyond the capacity of the Civil Division's staff. Near the end of 2002, the Civil Division assisted in bringing Pierce County and Boeing Company officials together for the first time in seven years of litigation to discuss settlement. That effort resulted in continuance of the upcoming trial date and execution by both parties of a written memorandum pursuant to which all past legal claims would be resolved and which created an appraisal formula for valuing Boeing's assets for many years into the future. BAIL BONDS The Civil Division has the responsibility of reviewing the justification petitions of bail bond companies which desire to do business in Pierce County and of preparing criminal cases for the forfeiture of bail bonds when the defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court hearing. The justification process requires the review of business, license and insurance records of the bail bond companies. An annual review is conducted of the justification of each bail bond company already conducting business in the county. During the year the prosecutors office monitors the status of disciplinary actions taken by the Department of Licensing to verify that the various companies are still permitted to engage in the bail bond business. The second main function of the Civil Division as it relates to bail bonds is the collection of forfeitures. During 2002, approximately 640 files were referred to the civil division for the forfeiture of bail bonds. Of those referred 82 files were set for hearing, with 53 going to hearing. The forfeitures ordered in 2002 amounted to $656,975. For each bail bond forfeited, $500 is forwarded to the Washington State Crime Victim program according to statute and the Prosecutor’s Office is awarded $250 for attorney fees. In addition to the bail bond forfeitures, the civil division handles the forfeitures of cash bail. RCW 10.19 directs the Prosecutor to assist District Court in the collection of bail bond 16 forfeiture orders. The Civil Division worked with the Criminal Division to update some of the standard pleading documents in order to streamline the forfeiture process. BUDGET AND FINANCE – BANKRUPTCY The Civil Division is continuing to take an active role in representing Budget and Finance and the State of Washington in monitoring bankruptcy filing, serving notice of claims and, when appropriate, the filing of objections to the claims made by other entities. Budget and Finance is diligent and persistent and the Civil Division continues to work on effective and streamlined methods of obtaining money owed the public to ensure that government can continue to provide services to its citizens. In addition, the Civil Division, working in conjunction with the payroll department of Budget & Finance, processed over 148 garnishments, including orders to withhold and deliver, and IRS levies on funds held by the County for others. CODE ENFORCEMENT Code Enforcement by the Civil Division continued to remain an important priority in 2002. Litigation continued at an even higher level than in previous years. During 2002, 195 matters were referred for prosecution to the Civil Division from the departments and agencies with enforcement authority. Warning letters urging compliance were sent out on nearly all of these cases. Of these 195, 79 were charged and filed in court. 138 cases were closed or had some other action taken by the Civil Division. Also, a number of cases charged in prior years remained open and active. The Civil Division handled trials, a number of motions, sentencings, reviews, and other court hearings on open cases. Additionally, the Civil Division assisted in Administrative Hearings, made regular trips to the agencies for discussion with Enforcement Officers regarding pending cases, trial and hearing preparation, and coordinated meetings with staff and litigants’ attorneys, as well as attending these meetings. Other duties included research, memoranda and brief writing, correspondence, legal advice and other assistance as requested. The Civil Division also made site visits with the officers, inspectors and police officers, and prepared, reviewed, and presented search warrants to judges. Much time is devoted to answering inquiries from disgruntled violators or their neighbors, and other persons requesting information on the status of pending cases. The agencies referring cases to the Civil Division during 2002 include: Pierce County Planning & Land Services Department, Divisions of Code Enforcement, Building, Resource Management, Development Engineering, and Current Planning, Tacoma Pierce-County Health Department; P.C. Sheriff’s Department, Dept. of Licensing, Dept. of Labor & Industries, Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Washington State Patrol, and the State Attorney General office. The Civil Division attorneys work closely with all enforcement agencies and aggressively seek compliance through a coordinated team effort. CIVIL COMMITMENT In 2002, the Mental Health Unit of the Civil Division handled 1623 of the cases filed in Pierce County Superior Court requesting involuntary treatment for mental illness or substance abuse. In the mental health cases the professionals petition the court for involuntary treatment for persons who have been rendered gravely disabled, and/or are a danger to self, or others, or property due to their mental illness. The court can order treatment for progressively longer periods of 14 days, 90 days or 180 days of involuntary treatment on an inpatient or an outpatient basis. No order can be longer than 180 days. Court hearings are held at Puget Sound Behavioral Health, American Lake Veterans Hospital, and at Western State Hospital. Any jury trials are held in the County-City Building. Civil Division attorneys do the 14 day hearings at Western State Hospital. The 14-day, 90 day, and 180 community hearings, and revocations from Puget Sound Behavioral Health, and 90 day, 180-day hearings and revocations are from the Veteran's hospital. In substance abuse cases the petitioners’ request up to 60 days of involuntary treatment at Pioneer North, the state inpatient facility at Sedro- Wooley. AUDITOR-BUSINESS LICENSES/RECORDS DIVISION In 2002, Civil Division attorneys continued to provide legal assistance to the Auditor in performing its duty to license local businesses and individuals. In conjunction with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, applicants are screened 17 and background checks are performed to insure the safety of the public. The Civil Division successfully represented the Auditor in matters before the Pierce County Council, Superior Courts and the Hearing Examiner concerning the denial, revocation or suspension of business licenses. Currently, the Civil Division is assisting the Auditor and representatives from the office of Budget and Finance in reviewing the appropriateness of license fees and the type of businesses and individuals required to obtain a license. Civil Division attorneys are also assisting the Records Division in creating a fee-based web access system so the public may access public records at minimal cost. BOUNDARY REVIEW BOARD The Pierce County Boundary Review Board reviews incorporations, annexations, assumptions, mergers, creation and dissolution of cities, towns and special purpose districts. The Civil Division represents the Boundary Review Board at the regular monthly meetings, public hearings, superior and the appellate courts, and assists in the drafting of written decisions and resolutions setting forth the basis for the Boundary Review Board's rulings. In 2002, the Civil Division guided the Boundary Review Board in the decision-making process of an incorporation attempt by citizens of the Frederickson area, several municipal annexations, including creation and mergers of special districts and other proposals. Last year the Washington State Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the petition method of annexation, leaving a large legal quagmire for the Civil Division to analyze. The Court has agreed to reconsider its decision in 2003. Opinions from the Civil Division were frequently required to assist in insuring consistent and appropriate application of the Growth Management Act in Pierce County. The Civil Division continues to focus its attention on assisting the Boundary Review Board at the hearing and evidentiary stage, and providing detailed information and legal analysis to assist in the initial public decision-making process. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION The Civil Division provides legal counsel to the Pierce County Civil Service Commission for Sheriff's employees. The Commission oversees the hiring, promotion, discipline and termination of all employees of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. During 2002, the Civil Division worked closely with the Chief Examiner and Commission at disciplinary hearings and appeals and on all issues and maters of law, including those concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act, interpretation of civil service rules governing voluntary termination and rehire, and the creation of new positions within the Sheriff's Department. Attorneys for the Civil Division represented both the Commission and the Sheriff in cases contested in Superior Court. DEFERRED COMPENSATION COMMITTEE The Civil Division provides legal counsel to the committee, which is responsible for providing deferred compensation investment opportunities for qualified employees. Civil Division deputies act as Hearing Examiners for request of hardship withdrawals. Request for withdrawals are governed by the Internal Revenue Service Code and are strictly regulated. In 2001 and 2002, the Civil Division took on the task of amending the deferred compensation ordinance and contracts with the County's two providers. In passing the President's Income Tax Relief Act, Congress implemented sweeping amendments to 457 Tax Deferred Compensation Plans. The Civil Division spearheaded the effort to bring the County regulations into compliance with federal law. REAL PROPERTY TAX FORECLOSURE During 2002 the Civil Division advised and represented taxing authorities in the collection and foreclosure of real and personal property tax liens for all governments in Pierce County, including collection of tax due upon parcels acquired by various governments in condemnation. DISTRICT COURT AND JUVENILE COURT - COLLECTION OF JUDGMENTS 18 During 2002, the Civil Division aided District Court, the Juvenile Court and other Pierce County Departments with changes to enable greater collection of amounts due the County as a result of criminal offenses, services rendered to juvenile offenders, or other obligations. Improved procedures and improved contracts with collection agencies were put in place. District Court consolidation required handling a number of lawsuits and significant advice on actions appropriate on consolidation. PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS During 2002, the Civil Division advised clients or assisted with client responses to over 240 requests for public records. Many requests required dozens of hours to distinguish records to be made available by law, from those prohibited from disclosure or exempt from disclosure by law. PUBLIC WORKS/TRANSPORTATION The Transportation Division is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of over 3000 miles of roads and road right of way, an airport and a ferry service. The Civil Deputies advising and representing this Division face a broad scope of practice that includes property, contracts, environmental and day-to-day municipal law. 2002 was highlighted by the hearing of a Public Disclosure Act case by the United States Supreme Court. and the return of a unanimous decision in favor of the County. The case involved traffic accident reports collected and compiled by the County and the decision upheld important principles that affect public safety. Also in 2002, the County's only road service district was able to turn its roads over for maintenance. Work continued on the County's first MTCA cost recovery site. The Civil Division made preparations to present the first Traffic Impact Fee ordinance to the Council. The ferry operations contract changed hands and the ferry Christine went into dry-dock without incident while the small, but picturesque, Steilacoom filled in with extra runs. The airport, Thun Field, required some attention to landlord/tenant issues. Work continued on the environmental documents for the proposed Cross Base Highway. In addition, Civil Division attorneys experienced the usual activity associated with public records requests, road design, consulting agreements, equipment contracts, survey, franchise agreements, right of way vacations, eminent domain, permits, maintenance, commute trip reduction and interlocal agreements for services to suburban cities. PUBLIC WORKS AND UTILITIES – WATER PROGRAMS DIVISION The Water Programs Division provides services including, flood control management, surface water management, water quality and supply, and river improvement programs. The Civil Division works with the Water Program staff, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to aid in the implementation of these programs. The Civil Division of the Prosecutors Office provides a broad range of services to the Water Programs Division that include: reviewing contracts, responding to questions regarding potential liability issues, examining deeds and title reports for property transfers, approving various types of right-of-way and easement agreements, and responding to public disclosure requests. Additionally, other legal work involved reviewing and commenting on the ordinance to form the East Gig Harbor Water District, drafting easements for the McMillan Industrial Park, continuing work on an easement for the South Hill Pump Station, and revising plat notes for the Flood Hazard Areas ordinance. Legal services were also provided by the Civil Division for two primary cases in litigation. In Charles Wright Academy v. Pierce County, et.al. the County was represented by outside counsel and indemnified by the City of University Place. The Civil Division provided assistance in retrieving discovery information and approving the final settlement agreement. Steilacoom Lake Improvement Club v. Pierce County, et. al. was handled in house by the Civil Division tort section. Due to the size of this case, additional Civil Division attorneys aided in the hiring of consultants, answering discovery requests and conducting depositions. This case is currently in mediation. The restoration of salmon habitat continues to be a high priority for the County and the Water Programs Division. The Civil Division was requested to develop project specific easements for the Frank Albert Road, the 96th Street Oxbow and the Sportsmans Club restoration projects. Additionally, legal assistance was required to examine liability and risk issues for both these projects. 19 PUBLIC WORKS & UTILITIES DEPARTMENT - ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES DIVISION - WASTEWATER UTILITY The Wastewater Utility provides solid waste sewage service throughout a large portion of Pierce County. The Wastewater Utility is constantly in the process of maintaining and upgrading this complex system, or constructing new facilities. The Wastewater Utility also is responsible for the operations of the Chambers Creek Properties, which are being developed into a state-of-the-art park that may some day include a public golf course. The Civil Division of the Prosecutor's Office played an integral role in assisting the Utility. Deputy Prosecutors serve as in-house general counsel to the Division. In 2002, the Civil Division reviewed contracts, draft ordinances and resolutions, prepared legal opinions and memoranda, assisted in the preparation and review of documents such as the Pierce County Unified Sewer Plan, and frequently represented the Utility in disputes and litigation. The Civil Division also filed three foreclosure lawsuits during 2002 to collect unpaid sewer service charges. These lawsuits are against various parcels of land for which sewer service charges have been unpaid for several months. In order to give all persons, known and unknown, notice of the pending foreclosure title reports are obtained and advertisements are placed in two newspapers of general circulation. A similar foreclosure lawsuit is brought each year to collect unpaid and overdue sewer ULID assessments. COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT The Community Services Department and the Human Services Department provide assistance to a large number of individuals and families within Pierce County. Services provided by these two distinct departments cover a broad spectrum, ranging from economic and community development and support of the cultural arts, to housing, aging, developmental disabilities, chemical dependency and mental health. The latter includes Puget Sound Behavioral Health, a licensed mental health facility operated by the Pierce County Regional Support Network. The Civil Division of the Prosecutor's Office serves as the general counsel to these two departments. Deputy prosecuting attorneys represent both departments in all legal disputes, ranging from mediation and administrative fair hearings to superior and appellate court litigation. Civil Division attorneys act as in-house counsel to the departments, providing legal support such as reviewing hundreds of contracts that the departments enter into with a broad array of local, state and federal agencies, numerous non-profit entities and for-profit corporations. They also advise the departments by providing legal memorandum and formal opinions interpreting local, state and federal ordinances, laws and regulations, by answering legal questions posed by the Departments and by drafting ordinances and resolutions for adoption by the County Council. CLERK'S OFFICE The Civil Division represents the Superior Court Clerk's office and the Washington Association of Superior Court Clerks in matters concerning the computerization and release of computerized records. Combining efforts to ensure that the Court has ready access to records needed to facilitate its dockets, while at the same time securing the privacy of victims and witnesses, is a priority for the Clerk and for this office. In addition, the Civil Division assisted the Clerk's Office in enforcing out-of-state custody orders in Pierce County Superior Court. PARKS AND RECREATION In 2002, the Civil Division provided legal services to the Parks and Recreation Services Department, including general legal advice, attorney's opinions, and legal drafting and review of ordinances, contracts, real estate instruments and other transactional work. The Parks and Recreation Services Department has been involved in major capital improvements in unincorporated parts of Pierce County, including the Rogers-Zeiger school site partnership with the Puyallup School District in the South Hill Community Plan Area, and improvements to sport facilities of the Peninsula School District, serving the unincorporated areas of the Gig Harbor Peninsula within the Gig Harbor Community Plan Area. PIERCE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT The Civil Division provides legal representation to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff's Department is one of the largest departments in Pierce County Government and generates a wide array of legal requests in complex matters. Representation of the Sheriff also includes representation of the Pierce County Jail. 20 Duties include representation of the Department in administrative proceedings, extensive public disclosure requests, training, asset seizure, the Sheriff’s civil function, and the entirety of the issues surrounding police and corrections work. During 2002, the Civil Division legal advisor represented the Sheriff in numerous asset seizure cases, performed turnout training for law enforcement, represented the Sheriff in various boards and committees, filed and completed various nuisance abatement cases and was involved in the appeal of various Labor and Industries citations. In addition, the Civil Division acted to assist Pierce County Superior Court in the resolution of numerous issues. While not in court, the assigned Civil Deputy kept informed of changes in the law and taught, at the WSCJTC, both basic and advanced Civil courses for Sheriff’s personnel throughout the State of Washington. RISK MANAGEMENT Defending civil lawsuits involving claims for damages is the principal task of the Risk Management Section of the Civil Division. The Section consists of four experienced trial attorneys, a trained paralegal, two legal secretaries and two law student researchers. Public and private corporations use the phrase "risk management" as shorthand for their efforts to control the financial exposure presented by litigation. The Section functions as a small law firm, defending lawsuits that are filed against the County and its employees. The attorneys handle all of the pre-trial work on such cases, including depositions and other discovery, pretrial motions, and settlement proceedings. When cases do not settle (and some should not), the attorneys go to trial. All four of the Risk Management Section attorneys are experienced trial lawyers. Their work includes any appeals that may follow the trials. The attorneys also provide advice to the various departments of county government about prospective liability concerns, and they advise the Risk Management and Insurance Department concerning any legal issues which arise as claims for damages are processed. Reducing exposure to money judgments is the most obvious role for the Risk Management Section, but perhaps equally important is the assistance the Section can give county employees in performing their jobs in a lawful fashion, and the support which is provided employees who are sued and alleged to have engaged in wrongful conduct. Because municipal governments have contact with the public in so many ways today, the Risk Management Section has an opportunity to serve virtually every aspect of Pierce County government. Recent damages actions against Pierce County have included such matters as accidents involving county drivers, injuries occurring in county parks, alleged police misconduct, and claims that the Public Works Department is responsible for surface water flooding of private property. Sometimes, too, Pierce County finds it necessary to file a civil suit. Pierce County thus becomes a litigant before the courts, federal and state, trial and appellate, on a regular basis. Of all the attorneys in the Civil Division, the four deputy prosecutors in the Risk Management Section appear the most frequently in court. The year 2002 was a busy one for us. In January one of our attorneys convinced the United States Supreme Court to review a State Supreme Court decision invalidating a federal statute which encourages road improvements by limiting disclosure of accident reports, and in November he successfully argued that case before the nation's highest court in Washington D.C. Another attorney won a unanimous verdict from a federal jury in a case involving a suicide in the Pierce County jail. A third attorney persuaded the federal Court of Appeals not to reopen a case involving the removal of two citizens from the Auditor’s warehouse during ballot processing in 1996. In addition, we successfully defended on appeal three separate cases involving the state public records statute, obtaining published decisions providing needed protection for autopsy records and for prosecutors’ litigation files. We also succeeded in having various suits dismissed before trial, including a federal case brought against a county judge and police officers that arrested an unruly person for contempt of court. 21 CIVIL DIVISION - YEAR AT A GLANCE Activity Year: 2002 Bail Bond Referrals for Forfeiture 640 Claim Files Opened 393 Code Enforcements Processed 195 Contracts Reviewed 1,187 Garnishments Processed 148 Litigation files Opened 132 Mental health Cases 1,623 Ordinances – drafted and/or reviewed 135 Public Records Requests 240 Resolutions – drafted and/or reviewed 142 22 CRIMINAL DIVISION CHIEF CRIMINAL DEPUTY (1) Felony Division Chief (1) Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (floating deputy) (1) Justice Program Manager (1) Sr. Victim Advocate (1) Justice Program Legal Assistant (1) MURDER AND MANSLAUGHTER* *This trial team is comprised of Chief Criminal and Assistant Chief Criminal Deputies along with senior attorneys assigned to Felony Teams Legal Assistant (2) ARSON, WHITE COLLAR CRIME, SPECIAL INQUIRY, FORGERY WELFARE FRAUD, UIBC, MALICIOUS MISCHIEF County Attorney (4) Legal Assistant (2) VWAS Specialist (1) ROBBERY, ASSAULT, KIDNAPING, ESCAPED FUGITIVES County Attorney (9) Legal Assistant (3) VWAS Specialist (1) BURGLARY, THEFT, POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY, AUTO THEFT VEHICLE ASSAULT County Attorney (5) Legal Assistant (3) VWAS Specialist (1) SPECIAL ASSAULT UNIT County Attorney (9) Legal Assistant (3) Child Interviewer (2) VWAS Specialist (4) DRUGS, PROSTITUTION AND GAMBLING County Attorney (11) Legal Assistant (4) Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team County Attorney (1) Office Assistant (1) CRIMINAL DIVISION COURTS County Attorney (3) FELONY RECORDS & PROBATION VIOLATIONS Legal Assistant (6) Receptionist (1) 23 CRIMINAL DIVISION ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING GRANT County Attorney (1) Program Manager (1) Office Assistant (.5) GUN VIOLENCE GRANT County Attorney (4) COMMUNITY PROSECUTION County Attorney (1) Office Assistant (.65) INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES UNIT Chief Criminal Investigator (1) Investigator (2) Process Server (2) Legal Assistant (1) APPEALS County Attorney (4) Legal Assistant (2) JUVENILE DIVISION County Attorney (10) Legal Assistant (5) VWAS Specialist (3.5) MISDEMEANOR DIVISION County Attorney (19) Legal Assistant (9) Domestic Violence VWAS Specialists (4) EL CID PROGRAM Diversion Counselor (2) STAFFING LEVEL - ATTORNEYS SUPPORT STAFF TOTAL CRIMINAL DIVISION FELONY DIVISION 51 45.15 96.15 APPEALS UNIT 4 2 6 JUVENILE DIVISION 10 8.5 18.5 MISDEMEANOR DIVISION 19 13 32 EL CID PROGRAM 2 2 TOTAL 84 70.65 154.65 24 FELONY DIVISION Among prosecutors in Washington, the Felony Division handled an extraordinary number of cases, including many complex, most serious cases. Despite carrying the heaviest caseloads in the State, per deputy, for any large county, our fully committed lawyers and staff continue to have much success and high morale. Some of the examples of justice achieved by Felony Division deputies and support staff in 2002 include: • State v. Chea and Phet: The saga of the multiple murders at Tacoma’s “Trang Dai” café finally came to trial in 2002. Over the course of several years, this case had many trial delays, repeated substitution of judges and defense attorneys, and the murder of a witness. A successful trial for the witness’ murder was prosecuted in the interim, before the “Trang Dai” case finally was heard. The “Trang Dai” trial spanned several months, and involved a large number of exhibits, and detailed testimony about an extremely complicated crime scene. Defendants Chea and Phet were involved to a lesser extent than other actors and they claimed alibi. Nevertheless, the jury swiftly returned verdicts of guilty as charged of aggravated murder. • State v. Campbell Alefaio, et al: Several years ago Alefaio escaped conviction for a “road rage” murder after he fired a handgun from one car into another car, killing a teenage girl. Alefaio and others conspired to lie during testimony by blaming the shooting on another passenger, who was seated near Alefaio. The perjury was successful, and the jury, having a “reasonable doubt”, acquitted Alefaio. Outstanding detective work, followed by careful review of the details by Felony Division lawyers resulted in the decision to prosecute a rare perjury case against Alefaio and his fellow conspirators. In 2002, and into 2003, a months-long trial resulted in guilty verdicts on nearly all of the several dozen counts. This was a case that many in the justice system did not believe could be won. • State v. Robert Yates, Jr.: “Spokane’s serial killer” bargained for his life in Spokane County, pleading guilty to multiple counts of first degree murder, and in exchange the death penalty was not sought. Believing that capital punishment is the will of the citizens for criminals such as Yates, Felony Division lawyers went forward to trial. Supported by a team of professionals, staff members tried Yates over several months, presenting over 100 witnesses and over 700 exhibits in achieving convictions for two counts of aggravated murder and a death verdict. • State v. Brian Eggleston: Because of trial court errors, our attorneys were faced with trying Eggleston a third time for killing Deputy Sheriff Bananola. Eggleston enjoyed experienced defense attorneys and a media campaign orchestrated by his supporters. We again proved that Eggleston murdered Deputy Bananola, during the Deputy’s participation in executing a search warrant of Eggleston’s home. The division’s successes are also reflected in the high number of cases going to trial. In 2002, we tried 193 felony cases. This is around 20% higher than the average for the past decade. One attorney handled 16 trials, and another, 15 trials, including a murder case. Trying so many felony cases shows an unparalleled commitment to duty. In order to keep current, division attorneys were offered multiple continuing education courses. Most courses were presented “in-house” by senior division staff or by experts brought in to teach. Topics included, for example, calculating offender scores under the Sentencing Reform Act, and ethical issues for prosecutors arising in daily law practice. Some of our senior attorneys were invited to teach courses at the National Advocacy Center, a unique federal Department of Justice facility in South Carolina solely dedicated to improving the skills of prosecutors from around the nation. The Appeals unit, within the Felony Division, continued to provide superb appellate advocacy for the county. Despite the burdens of growing numbers of direct appeals and “sky-rocketing” numbers of personal restraint petitions, there has been no drop-off in the quality of work. In addition to brief writing, this unit is always available to rapidly provide advice to criminal division attorneys preparing for, and handling trials. For example, when the State Supreme Court set aside decades of jurisprudence in deciding that “felony murder” by assault would no longer be the law in Washington (St. v. Andress), our Appeals unit was quickly able to give advice to deputies handling past and current murder cases affected by the ruling. Moreover, the Appeals unit communicated with other 25 prosecutors’ offices, and with State officials in trying to assist with the language of the legislative “fix” enacted in early 2003. FELONY CASES PER CAPITA The number of felony cases per 100,000 in population declined by 8.8%. YEAR POPULATION FELONY CASES CHARGED FELONY CASES PER 100,000 POPULATION 1988 547,706 3,433 630 1989 560,894 3,686 660 1990 586,203 4,363 740 1991 603,800 4,021 660 1992 624,000 4,898 780 1993 640,700 4,743 740 1994 648,900 5,102 786 1995 660,200 5,535 839 1996 665,000 4,903 737 1997 674,300 5,200 771 1998 686,800 5,520 805 1999 700,000 5,855 836 2000 700,820 6,158 879 2001 713,400 6,575 922 2002 713,400 6,003 841 Source population figures: OFM, US Census, Puget Sound Regional Council, WA St Dept of Financial Management 26 Felony Appeals Unit The Appellate Unit prosecutes all state court appeals from Superior Court and District Court convictions. In addition, the Appellate Unit prosecutes all collateral attacks on such convictions and also provides advice to trial attorneys throughout the office. The Appellate Unit also provides on-going education regarding changes in the law to all attorneys in the office and responsibly manages the forms so that they reflect current law. . In 2002 the Appellate Unit opened 570 new appeals. Every felony attorney is required to write an appellate brief and present oral argument thereon every eighteen months. This practice has vastly improved the trial records made by these attorneys. Likewise, appellate unit attorneys regularly prosecute trials in Superior Court. 2002 Appellate Statistics Direct Appeals 243 Juvenile 13 RALJ (From Court of lower jurisdiction) 61 Personal Restraint Petitions 126 Personal Restraint Petitions (Superior Court) 15 Discovery Rev (Court of Appeals) 14 Discovery Hearing (Superior Court) 98 27 MISDEMEANOR DIVISION CHIEF DISTRICT COURT DEPUTY (1) Support Services Manager (1) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT Domestic Violence Senior County Attorney/Supervisor (1) County Attorneys (3) Legal Assistant (1) VWAS Specialists (4) UNINCORPORATED PIERCE COUNTY/UNIVERSITY PLACE/EDGEWOOD (District Court Number One) County Attorneys (12) Legal Assistants (4) Receptionist (1) File Clerk (1) GIG HARBOR/EATONVILLE/BUCKLEY COURTS (District Court Numbers 2, 3 and 4) County Attorneys (2) Legal Assistant (1) Staffing 32 The Misdemeanor Division is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases in Pierce County District Court. Until January 13, 2003, District Court was comprised of four distinct court systems. District Court Numbers Two, Three and Four were the division’s outlying courts and were situated in the cities of Gig Harbor, Eatonville and Buckley respectively. Pierce County District Court Number One is located in the County- City Building in downtown Tacoma. Crimes committed in unincorporated areas of Pierce County and the incorporated cities of Edgewood and University Place are filed in District Court Number One. As of January 13, 2003, the four courts have consolidated into one entity, Pierce County District Court. PIERCE COUNTY DISTRICT COURTS NUMBER I – IV The Misdemeanor Division filed 9,788 cases in 2002. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the cases filed in the Misdemeanor Division in 2002 were filed in District Court Number One. All police reports and criminal citations that are filed in the division are electronically scanned into Linx, the Prosecutor’s Office case management system. Scanned images can immediately be accessed on line to a computer screen. The Misdemeanor Division tried 155 jury/bench trials during the 2002 calendar year. The criminal cases tried in district court were primarily domestic violence and driving under the influence charges. 2002 Criminal Driving MISDEMEANOR Criminal Non- Under The Domestic Total CASES Traffic Traffic Influence Violence Cases Filed 4,929 1,869 1,902 1,088 9,788 Percentage of Cases Filed 50% 19% 20% 11% 100% 28 DISTRICT COURT NUMBER ONE COURT PROCEEDINGS & CHARGES FILED 2000 2001 2002 Court Proceedings 31,403 30,425 34,008 Charges Filed 13,084 12,310 13,015 *Note: The Charges Filed number is higher than the Cases Filed number because many cases filed allege multiple charges in the complaint. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT – A TEAM APPROACH The Misdemeanor Division Domestic Violence Unit continued to aggressively prosecute domestic violence cases during 2002. Deputy prosecutors assigned to the DV Unit handle all domestic violence cases filed in District Court Number One, from the charging stage through post-conviction hearings, in the designated domestic violence court. The domestic violence unit is comprised of one (1) supervisor, three (3) deputy prosecutors, one (1) legal assistant, and four (4) victim advocates. The domestic violence unit shares office space, and works closely, with seven (7) Pierce County Sheriff detectives/deputies assigned to the domestic violence team. This arrangement allows for a team approach in the fight against domestic violence. The staff of the domestic violence unit continues to be recognized throughout the State for their expertise in the area of domestic violence. In 2002, members of the domestic violence unit spoke, on a regular basis, at domestic violence training seminars, local schools and to community groups; educating the public about domestic violence. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE District District District District Cases Filed Court No. 1 Court No. 2 Court No. 3 Court No. 4 Total 2001 947 68 58 31 1,104 2002 979 60 29 20 1,088 DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL/DRUG PROSECUTION The aggressive prosecution of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs (DUI) cases continued as a priority in the Misdemeanor Division in 2002. The number of DUI cases filed in 2002 increased sixteen percent (17%) over the number of cases filed in 2001. This increase is likely due, at least in part, to regular emphasis patrols sponsored by the Pierce County DUI Task Force, as well as the Washington State Patrol’s strong emphasis on DUI and aggressive driving investigations. DRIVING UNDER THE District District District District Total INFLUENCE (DUI) Court No. 1 Court No. 2 Court No. 3 Court No. 4 Cases Filed 2000 1,685 152 10 9 1,858 2001 1,506 97 10 9 1,629 2002 1,811 75 3 13 1,902 29 JUVENILE DIVISION County Attorney (10) Legal Assistant (5) VWAS Specialist (3.5) Staffing - (18.5) The Juvenile Division is responsible for the review and resolution of criminal cases and truancy referrals involving youth under the age of eighteen. The division is staffed with ten attorneys, five legal assistants, three and a half victim advocates, and four legal interns. This division is responsible for all types of crime committed by juvenile offenders. The attorneys and staff handle a broad spectrum of cases, ranging from misdemeanors to class A felonies. During the 2002 calendar year, the division reviewed 4,393 criminal cases. 3,008 cases resulted in criminal charges being filed. 1,385 referrals were either sent to diversion, or deemed insufficient for filing criminal charges. The Juvenile Division is also responsible for enforcement of the truancy laws. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office works closely with schools and parents to encourage youth to attend school. 1,931 truancy cases were filed during the 2002 calendar year. The reduction in truancy numbers appears directly related to the Tacoma School District’s decision to treat truancy as an unfunded mandate during the 2002-2003 school year. Tacoma’s number of petitions filed has decreased, from 1,290 in calendar year 2001, to 836 in calendar year 2002. CRIMINAL CASES TRUANCY YEAR REFERRALS CASES FILED CASES FILED 1999 5.068 3.369 1.716 2000 4,670 3,138 1,824 2001 4,581 3,005 2,433 2002 4,393 3,008 1,931 30 INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES UNIT The Investigative Services Division was created by this office in early 1988, becoming the first such program in any prosecutors office statewide. It has since become a model for other prosecutors, providing the public with independent investigations of alleged official misconduct; officer involved shootings and complex fraud cases. Assistance with unsolved homicides has been provided to area law enforcement agencies resulting in several successful convictions. This division also conducts pre-employment background investigations and internal affairs investigations, locates hard to find witnesses, serves subpoenas, court orders and performs numerous other support functions necessary for trial preparation. With the addition of a computer expert investigator in May of 1996, the office now has the ability to do evidence gathering involving computer crimes. 1996 - 2002 Investigative Services Unit Activity Level Year Subpoenas Processed 1996 28,469 1997 31,795 1998 40,826 1999 40,213 2000 38,341 2001 38,899 2002 34,990 31 JUSTICE SERVICES PROGRAMS Victim-Witness Assistance Service Victim Witness Assistance Services in the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office completes its 24th year. The breadth and width of services provided victims/witnesses of crimes surpasses every county in Washington State. This office has its specialized advocates who work in every segment of the criminal division ranging from homicides to identity theft. Services can include working with parents who are victims of their physically abusive child to providing the victim of an appellate case with on-going support. The sixteen advocates made these services possible and a legal assistant who directly provide assist thousands of victims of charged and uncharged cases annually. Services provided by victim advocates: Victims Served in 2002 13,097 Victim Case Status/Case Preparation Correspondence 81,692 (not including Judgement and Sentence requests) El CID Diversion services serve this community well in the form of the ELCID program. The program is able to successfully monitor first offenders and collect restitution for victims of property crimes in selected felony and misdemeanor cases. The successful completion rate for clients in the program remains at 85 %. The majority of the clients in the program are between the ages of 18-21 and upon completion of the program 67 % are gainfully employed. New clients in 2002 148 32 FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION County Attorneys–13 Legal Interviewers–10 Legal Assistants–11 Paralegals–2 Investigator/Servers–2 The Family Support Division of Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is a state leader. The family law practitioners worked tirelessly and effectively in coordinating a Contempt Round-up in June. The collections provided an increase in child support payments for needy and deserving children. The event also generated widespread and positive media coverage throughout the state. The office worked closely with local, state and federal personnel to raise collections for the month to more than $160,000. For the year, collections exceeded $1,250,000. The modification unit reviews and adjusts child support orders in dissolution and paternity cases. The contempt unit uses civil contempt to coerce child support payments from non-custodial parents. The diversion component encourages payments short of court intervention. The paternity unit initiates cases to establish parentage and subsequent support obligations. The private action unit primarily responds in private case in which there is a state’s interest. The family support division protected these children’s interests despite seeing its caseload expand to over 6000 cases, an increase of more than 1200 cases from the proceeding year. TYPE OF PROCEEDING 1999 2000 2001 2002 Modification 822 818 825 903 Private Action Response1 31 417 286 288 Contempt 1,395 959 805 2,224 Paternity 2,947 2,993 2,818 2,606 1 Figures adjusted to conform to SEMS data. 33
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