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Kitsap pushing for extra judge

On Monday, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners plans to authorize the sending of a letter to Gov. Gary Locke requesting the creation of an eighth judge’s seat on the Kitsap County Superior Court.

“We’ve seen this need for some time,” said North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen. “Our population has grown, and since criminal trials must be addressed quickly, this pushes civil matters further down the road.”

The eighth position was authorized by the Legislature a year ago. The county then needed to commit to the $250,000 necessary each year to support the position.

The new judge would take office no sooner than Jan.10, 2005. The appointment would presumably be made by Gov. Locke and not his newly elected successor.

Court administrator Frank Maiocco said he did not know if Locke would consider runners-up from the recent selection of Judge Ted Spearman or begin the process anew.

“We have been operating under the notion that the court needs help,” Endresen said. “This new position will allow us to better serve the people.”

Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer feels a new judge will relieve a bottleneck in his office.

“I’m for anything that speeds up the administration of justice,” he said. “A new judge will speed up trials and help us process inmates more quickly.”

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