For 30 years I served as a criminal deputy prosecutor in Washington: 26 years for the people of San Juan County, of which 20 were under Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord. The people in San Juan County are fortunate that he wants to serve another term. In Randy Gaylord you have a knowledgeable, competent, compassionate and highly ethical prosecutor who knows the community.
Randy’s opponent has said he will do more to prosecute drug cases. That’s an empty promise. The sheriff’s office, not the prosecutor’s office, investigates drug cases and then refers them to the prosecutor. In the last three years, Mr. Gaylord’s office filed charges in every drug case that was referred by the sheriff’s office — that is 100%!
Mr. Power says he will be tough on drugs and would file charges even if he would not be able to prove the charges — ‘in order to send a message that the community does not tolerate drugs’. Someone running for prosecutor should know that a prosecutor acts as a gatekeeper: one who protects victims and also protects citizens from being accused of a crime when evidence is insufficient. A prosecutor who charges people without sufficient evidence not only abuses the power of his office, but is a bully.
Power’s criticism that Mr. Gaylord “refused” to prosecute Det. Parker reveals his lack of understanding of the ethical rules and procedures that all prosecutors follow. Because the allegations of misconduct involved a local deputy sheriff, Mr. Gaylord did what is required of an ethical prosecutor: he asked an outside agency to investigate the allegations. This was the right thing to do. Having a neutral and independent Skagit County Prosecutor determine whether charges should be filed ensured that neither bias nor improper influence played a role in the decision. There was nothing more for Mr. Gaylord to do. Randy is commended for the competent and ethical way he handled this difficult case.