Sat, Feb 22, 2020
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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Burke Taking False Credit in Jones, Bush Cases

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First, Mr. Burke claims it was his "Herculean" effort which was responsible for the prosecution of Martin Jones for the attempted first degree murder of Sheriff Scott Johnson. This claim is simply untrue. The effort, and success, is entirely that of Assistant Attorney General John Hilman and his team. The Attorney General's Office stepped in to handle the prosecution of Martin Jones and it was AAG Hilman who tried the case and ultimately convicted Martin Jones, not Mr. Burke.

Mr. Burke also takes credit for the successful prosecution of Brian Bush, a case that was actually handled by his opponent, Mr. McClain. Mr. Burke has stated he will do "whatever it takes to ensure justice" and that he works on complex cases so "nothing falls through the cracks."

But his actions speak much louder than his words. For example, the mishandling of the criminal case against a deputy sheriff from Pacific County, where Mr. Burke failed to file a simple document, which was required to allow another prosecutor's office to handle the matter.

Other examples include the plea bargain reached in the South Bend Clerk case and the plea reached in the Knotek's horrific triple-murder case (15-20 years). I could go on, but these few examples are representative of the type of work Mr. Burke does.

I am also troubled by the partisanship expressed by my party in this case. I have worked for several elected prosecutors over my career, both Republican and Democrat, and I can assure you that political affiliation has no place in a prosecutor's race or office.

This race needs to be about job performance. The record here shows that one candidate alone is the right person for the job, Mark McClain. I have personally witnessed Mr. McClain's work, watched him successfully take on the tough cases and he has proven he can do the job, and do the job right.

Having seen the work and approach of both of these men, there is no doubt in my mind that Mark McClain is the right person to lead the Prosecutor's Office.

Respectfully,

SARA I. BEIGH

Tenino

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