Nichols and his “nearly absolute powers”

Prosecutorial discretion refers to the fact that under American law, government prosecuting attorneys have nearly absolute powers. A prosecuting attorney has power on various matters including those relating to choosing whether or not to bring criminal charges, deciding the nature of charges, plea bargaining and sentence recommendation. This discretion of the prosecuting attorney is called prosecutorial discretion.

Prosecutorial misconduct is conduct which violates court rules or ethical standards of law practice. Examples, among others, may include:

  • Courtroom misconduct (making improper remarks or improperly introducing evidence designed to prejudice the jury: violating rules regarding selection of the jury; or making improper closing arguments);
  • Hiding, destroying or tampering with evidence, case files or court records;
  • Failing to disclose evidence that might tend to exonerate the defendant;
  • Threatening, badgering or tampering with witnesses;
  • Presenting false or misleading evidence;
  • Selective or vindictive prosecution;
  • Denial of a speedy trial rights;
  • Use of unreliable and untruthful witnesses and snitches.

In deciding who you want wielding that nearly absolute power of prosecutorial discretion in Clallam County for the next four years, consider the following:

  • Nichols was a defendant in an age and gender discrimination case that alleged he treated women in the Prosecutor’s Office in a hostile, demeaning and condescending manner that was settled at a cost to the taxpayers of at least $1.6 million plus attorney’s fees.
  • Nichols was the legal adviser to OPNET in a civil forfeiture case where the trial judge found reckless disregard of the truth and governmental mismanagement costing the taxpayers at least $300,000 in attorney’s fees and fines.
  • Nichols was a defendant in the Lange public records case that alleged he and his deputies repeatedly and wrongfully withheld large amounts of public records that were relevant to Mr. Lange’s nuisance land use case against his neighbor.  Violating some very basic rules, defendant Mark Nichols and his deputies settled not only the public records case, but also Mr. Lange’s civil case against his neighbor, obviously to prevent that case going forward to trial and outing Mark Nichols’ complete disregard for the rule of law.  All of which at a cost to county taxpayers of well over $500,000 in reserve funds plus attorney’s fees.
  • And Nichols is currently the defendant in a sexual harassment case (the trial for which he managed to get postponed until after the election)  in which he has admitted that he spent many (taxpayer funded) hours a day for months at a time pursuing his married office manager while in the courthouse and on the job, at a cost to the taxpayers of  how much more?

In the meantime, Nichols has established quite a track record of failing to prosecute crimes against the most vulnerable among us.

In contrast, please consider my qualifications and track record.

Please elect me Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney.  I promise to pursue justice and restore trust and fiscal responsibility to the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office.

Thank you for your vote.

Selinda Barkhuis



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