Kitsap’s newest judge takes oath

The Kitsap County legal community gave its newest Superior Court judge a light-hearted, humor-filled welcome on Monday afternoon, turning the swearing-in ceremony into a celebration of local justice.

Bainbridge Island attorney Sally F. Olsen, 47, will occupy the bench’s newly created eighth seat, established in order to handle an escalating caseload in a growing county.

Olsen’s appointment makes the Kitsap bench perfectly gender-balanced, which Presiding Judge M. Karlynn Haberly said “could lead to some interesting situations.”

Haberly said Olsen’s presence contributes to the bench’s overall breadth of experience.

Olsen’s swearing-in was preceded by remarks from Poulsbo Municipal Court Judge Jeff Tolman, North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen and Sheriff Steve Boyer. All have known Olsen for years, and said her experience would make her an excellent judge.

Endresen lauded Olsen for her work on domestic violence cases, while Boyer saluted her work with the Boy Scouts.

Boyer deputized Olsen’s son Ryan with a simple, one line oath: “I solemnly swear to listen to my mother.”

After promising to uphold the tenets of the bench, Olsen quoted an unlikely source of inspiration.

“Any judge does well to member the Wizard of Oz,” she said. “That is to have a heart, a brain, courage and to follow the rules of evidence.”

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