Candidate for King County prosecutor says office to needs to return to ‘fundamentals’

Mar 10, 2022, 9:58 AM
Jim Farrell, prosecutor...
Federal Way Mayor Jim Farrell giving the state of the city address in 2022. (Video screengrab courtesy of WAFederalWay/Twitter)
(Video screengrab courtesy of WAFederalWay/Twitter)

The Seattle Police Officers Guild and King County Police Officers Guild is endorsing Jim Farrell, who is the current mayor of Federal Way, as the next King County prosecutor.

Federal Way looks to ramp up police hiring in wake of rise in gun violence

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced early this year that 2022 will be his last in the office, and he will not be running for re-election.

So why does Farrell want the job?

“If [King County] were a state, we’d be like the 35th largest state in the country, and this is akin to being the attorney general for a medium-sized state,” he told the KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson Show. “And not only does it handle all the civil matters, but more importantly, it handles all the criminal matters. You’re the chief law enforcement officer, essentially, for the largest county in the state. With it really comes a leadership opportunity to be able to set the tone for law enforcement and for the community in general about making sure that we’ve got a safe community.”

“I think that’s the issue of the day — making sure that we’ve got a safe community, and not only do we feel safe, but we are in actuality safe,” he added.

Before being elected mayor of Federal Way eight years ago, Farrell spent 16 years in the King County Prosecutor’s Office as a senior deputy prosecutor.

One of other the critical issues, as Farrell sees it, is that the county needs to hold offenders accountable.

“I think it’s really got to go back to fundamentals,” he said. “When I was first hired back in 1998 by the legendary Norm Maleng, we had a nationally respected office that was centered on accountability. It was reasonable, but it was also really, it was a model on how to hold people accountable.”

“That’s the thing, Dori, is I think the criminal justice system at some point got turned around where we became so focused on course-correcting defendants that they became the source of the focus,” he continued. “The people that need to be the focus of the issue are the victims and making sure that justice is done.”

Farrell — who says he previously worked with Satterberg — was actually the runner-up in the process to select a new prosecutor when Maleng passed away in 2007.

Now, Farrell thinks the office under Satterberg “really started to go off the rails”  a few years ago.

“It’s mystifying where we’re at right now in regard to a lack of accountability and filing standards,” he said. “And I’ll tell you what is really concerning is the complete breakdown in communication with law enforcement throughout King County and elected leaders.”

“If you go onto my website, you’ll see that almost every mayor in South King County and East King County are endorsing me and supporting the campaign, which is a real indication of a breakdown in communication and respect,” he added.

Listen to the full interview with Federal Way Mayor Jim Farrell: 

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Candidate for King County prosecutor says office to needs to return to ‘fundamentals’