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Home » Archives » December 2011 » Letter On Cuts To Prosecuting Attorney's Budget

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12/23/2011: "Letter On Cuts To Prosecuting Attorney's Budget"

Shoplifters Not Prosecuted?

To the Editor:

One must seriously question the judgment and professionalism of a Prosecuting Attorney who openly tells potential shoplifters that they are free to steal from local merchants without any fear of legal consequence. A prosecuting attorney who openly advises would-be thieves that if caught the only penalty they will suffer is the possibility of having to pay for the goods they stole, but who promises them no prosecution, no criminal record, no fine, no probation, no community service, no jail time. (Related Story)

This is Mr. Gaylord’s idea of how to serve and protect the public.

Being a merchant in San Juan County is hard enough without having to deal with thieves who know that there will be no penalty for stealing from them.

It’s not as though Mr. Gaylord doesn’t have alternatives. He could re-assign prosecutors who normally work on less vital civil issues to assist in District Court prosecutions. He could drop some but not all shoplifting cases, so that thieves would at least face some risk of criminal penalties for their crimes. He could spend some time of his own time prosecuting District Court cases. He could take a temporary cut in his very generous salary and use the money to restore the lower paid half-time position he claims to need.

But he prefers to give aid and comfort to criminals who may choose to prey on hardworking local merchants. This may be his version of responsible public service. It certainly isn’t mine, and I don’t think it’s the view of very many local residents.

Since Mr. Gaylord publicly admits that he can’t fulfill his responsibilities as Prosecuting Attorney on the budget allocated to him, it’s time for him to resign and let the voters elect somebody who can.

Christopher Hodgkin
San Juan Island

Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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