Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1972 NO. 1 >

(1) A prosecuting attorney of a fourth through ninth class county, in his separate capacity as county coroner under RCW 36.16.030, may appoint one or more deputy coroners with the consent of his board of county commissioners.(2) The compensation of any persons so appointed as deputy coroners is to be fixed by the board of county commissioners.(3) There is no legal requirement that a person appointed to serve as a deputy county coroner in a fourth class county be admitted to the practice of law in this state.

AGO 1997 NO. 1 >

1.   By virtue of RCW 3.66.067, a criminal defendant whose imposition of sentence has been deferred may, after meeting such terms as the court may have established, apply to withdraw his or her plea and seek dismissal of the charges, and the court may for good cause grant such application; however, where sentence is imposed but its execution is suspended pursuant to RCW 3.66.068, the law does not authorize withdrawal of a guilty plea or dismissal of charges.  2.   Whether a criminal sentence is deferred pursuant to RCW 3.66.067, or imposed and suspended pursuant to RCW 3.66.068, courts lack authority to delete or expunge the record of conviction based on a defendant's fulfillment of conditions attached to the deferred or suspended sentence; RCW 10.97 defines these records as "conviction records" and requires that the record of conviction in either type of case be maintained and available to law enforcement agencies and others as defined therein.

AGO 1969 NO. 7 >

(1) The supreme court's adoption of the new juvenile court rules does constitute a "nondebatable" emergency so as to justify the expenditure of those county funds which are necessary to implement, and comply with, the rules, under authority of RCW 36.40.180. (2) The duties which are imposed upon a prosecuting attorney by the new juvenile court rules are such as to render his office and that of the county juvenile probation officer incompatible, to the end that the two positions may not simultaneously be held by the same person.

AGO 1982 NO. 10 >

The board of county commissioners of a fifth through ninth class county may not, simply by making a public announcement to that effect prior to the period for candidates' filings, cause the office of county prosecuting attorney to become a full-time office so as to prohibit the candidate then duly elected to that office from thereafter engaging in the private practice of law.

AGO 2003 NO. 12 >

1. The specific campaign finance limitations set forth in RCW 42.17 do not apply to the office of prosecuting attorney, although the related reporting and disclosure requirements do apply to that office.  2. A county prosecuting attorney is subject to campaign finance limitations adopted by a county and generally covering county officers and employees, except to the extent directly in conflict with a state statute.  3. The state ethics law, RCW 42.52, does not apply to the office of prosecuting attorney.

AGLO 1974 NO. 15 >

A board of county commissioners acting pursuant to RCW 36.32.200 may, with the approval of a majority of the county superior court judges, employ an attorney to advise the board on general matters of its concern; such employment contract, however, may not extend beyond the term of the board.

AGO 1971 NO. 19 >

A county prosecuting attorney has the legal obligation to appear and participate in mental illness hearings in support of an application for commitment of a person alleged to be a "mentally ill" person, based upon his endorsement of the application as provided for in RCW 71.02.090.

AGLO 1980 NO. 19 >

A prosecuting attorney who is in possession of records or other documentary evidence relating to an alleged offense by a juvenile to which chapter 13.50 RCW applies may not, on that basis, release those records or documents to an attorney representing the local school district, one of whose schools the juvenile in question is attending.

AGO 1971 NO. 28 >

The prosecuting attorney of a fourth class county may simultaneously serve as a member of the city council of a third class city located in such county.

AGLO 1976 NO. 30 >

(1) Notwithstanding § 1, chapter 86, Laws of 1973, Ex. Sess., the prosecuting attorney of a fourth class county is still required to serve as ex officio county coroner. (2) Such prosecuting attorney is authorized to appear and defend the county in an action involving alleged misconduct by the coroner or his deputies.