My son was 9 months old when I started law school at the University of Washington in 1991. I graduated in 1994 and moved to Port Angeles in early 1995 to hang out my own shingle as an attorney and to raise my son.
From 1995 to about 2002 or so, I practiced family and criminal defense law as a solo attorney representing many hundreds of private and court-appointed clients in Clallam County Superior Court, Family Court, and Juvenile Court by researching, preparing, and arguing thousands of pre-trial civil and criminal motions, negotiating hundreds of civil settlements and criminal plea-bargains, and litigating dozens of divorce, child-custody, dependency, parental termination, and criminal trials. I also authored the Family Law Bluffer’s Manual for use by pro bono lawyers advising family law clients, and presented numerous legal topics, including CLEs, at local venues.
I knew I had to move on when I adopted one of my clients, a 16 year old girl, straight from juvie hall in 1999.
In 2003, after a stint as Realtor, I accepted the position of Salmon Habitat Recovery Coordinator for the North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity (NOPLE), working collaboratively with representatives from 2 counties, 3 cities, and 5 tribes.
In March of 2006, I accepted the position of Senior Planner with Clallam County’s Department of Community Development to carry out long range objectives by evaluating issues, researching and analyzing laws and data, developing proposed ordinances (including the County’s Code Compliance Title), and presenting complicated subject matter to the Clallam County Planning Commission, the public, the Board of Clallam County Commissioners, and the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.
In 2010, I successfully ran against the incumbent for the constitutional position of Clallam County Treasurer on the campaign promise that I could “smell a rat.” I was reelected unopposed in 2014, at which time I was also elected to serve a one-year term as one of fifteen Clallam County Charter Review Commissioners.
For seven years, I executed and administered the duty of the Clallam County Treasurer to safekeep the county taxpayers’ $100 million (on average) in rainy-day reserve funds by developing extensive new internal controls and accounting procedures, chairing quarterly county finance committee meetings, managing budgeted expenditures of about $1 million per year, hiring and supervising a staff of six, and developing the annual Treasurer’s Tax & Timber Report.
I vacated the position of Clallam County Treasurer on December 15, 2017, a year before the end of my second term, because various county officials, including Mark Nichols, repeatedly placed me in the unacceptable position of having to choose between wrongfully disbursing funds based on false certificates and administrative “loopholes,” and being sued to personally defend my oath-sworn duty to only disburse funds based on proper county legislative authority and consistent with statutory and constitutional rule of law which grant taxpayers certain rights when it comes to the spending of their tax dollars.
In the meantime, Mark Nichols has spent his time being a defendant in a case that settled for $1.6 million that alleged he treated women in the Prosecutor’s Office in a hostile, demeaning and condescending manner, a defendant in a case that settled for over $500,000 that alleged he repeatedly and wrongfully withheld relevant public records for many years, and a defendant in a case currently pending that alleges he sexually harassed his office manager repeatedly for his first two years in elected office.
You have a choice!
Elect Selinda Barkhuis Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney!