[3/4/22] Okanogan County Names New Prosecutor

Posted in Local Government & Meetings

Okanogan County Commissioners have appointed a new prosecuting attorney. He is Albert Lin, and he’s not a newcomer: he served two years as the county’s chief civil deputy prosecuting attorney from 2015 to 2017. And that two year stint apparently was the clincher; after interviewing Lin and Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Jason Moscowitz, the two names submitted by the Okanogan County Republican Party, the commissioners decided that, in Commissioner Chris Branch’s words, someone with Lin’s experience in Okanogan County is crucial, adding quote: “We really, really need somebody right now that can do that immediately.”

The Okanogan County Prosecutor’s Office needs stability; it hasn’t had it for several years. Lin will be replacing Melanie Bailey, a Republican who was appointed just a year ago in the same process after elected prosecutor Arian Noma resigned halfway through his four-year term. The office is currently looking to fill three deputy prosecutor positions. While Noma was prosecutor, 11 people resigned.

Since leaving Okanogan county, Lin has been a deputy prosecuting attorney for Franklin County, where he has handled and successfully prosecuted property crimes, sex crimes, violent assaults and homicide. He previously spent 10 years working for Grant County.

During his interview with the county commissioners, Lin said Okanogan County needs a working prosecutor with the experience, judgment and integrity to do the job. He pointed to his experience prosecuting and convicting people accused of serious and violent crimes, including murder, drug-related homicides and property crimes. He also has experience defending people accused of felonies.

The day before the interviews, the commissioners signed a resolution increasing salaries in the prosecutor’s office. The resolution recognizes the county’s difficulty in recruiting attorneys to fill vacancies, the complexity of the work, and compensation for similar positions in comparable counties. Branch called it the “stop-the-bleeding” resolution.

Lin doesn’t have a set start date yet. He is currently away on a previously scheduled vacation. Acting Prosecutor Sue Baur will remain in the post until Lin is sworn in. Lin will have to run for election in November and win to remain in the job.