Dori: King Co. Prosecutor candidate says crime at ‘crisis levels,’ opponent is ‘elitist’

Oct 25, 2022, 5:09 PM
Jim Ferrell (left) and Leesa Manion (right)

In a race where many voters are critical of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a “catch-and-release” stage in the local criminal justice system, Federal Way Mayor and former King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jim Ferrell wants a “reset.”

His race against Leesa Manion, outgoing Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s chief of staff, is one that will have to deal with a soaring rise in crime – including a 70% spike in shooting cases.

“The situation has reached crisis levels,” Ferrell told Tuesday’s Dori Monson Show listeners. “King County is at a tipping point. A lot of people think we’re long past the tipping point. Not only is the King County jail down 100 officers from pre-COVID staffing, but police staffing countywide is critically low,” Ferrell said. It’s created a “literal catch-and-release that has to get addressed” because the “people of our community have really been victimized.”

Part of his plan, if elected, is to tackle the “crippling backlog of 4,500 felony cases” facing the prosecutor’s office. “That has to be addressed on Day 1. I’ve got an aggressive triage plan to get those cases through.”

Whoever is elected will become “the hinge-point to the entire criminal justice system,” he explained.

More from Dori: State Supreme Court now assumes all civil cases are racially biased

Ferrell – who spent 16 years as a trial attorney in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office before being elected for three terms as Federal Way mayor – also intends to make “sure that the jails are fully staffed.”

His hands-on trial experience, he told Dori, is a far better fit for the job than Manion’s administrative experience – which includes only one criminal trial during her career. While Manion’s work during Satterberg’s progressive tenure has been in budgeting and human relations, she was key in developing the county’s earliest youth diversion program, which prevented minors from facing misdemeanor criminal charges if they agreed to attend a four-hour workshop.

Ferrell cited his endorsements include police guilds of King County, Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Federal Way, and Des Moines; mayors of 15 suburban cities; several labor unions; The Seattle Times editorial board; and long-time senior prosecutors in the office.

Dori asked Ferrell whether voters should take stock in the flap that has arisen between his opponent and trial attorneys in the prosecutor’s office.

KC prosecutor candidate: County ‘looks the other way’ with ‘unaccountable’ restorative justice

It started with a comment made before a recent voters’ forum, when Manion discounted her lack of criminal trial experience, comparing herself to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos because he “doesn’t put the labels on the boxes or drive the trucks.”

The comparison created an uproar among some prosecutors, at least one of whom wrote that Manion’s comments undermined their work and did “significant harm to our cause.”

Ferrell called her comments “elitist” for someone who has “never tried a criminal case, never handled one criminal trial or filed a case or ever had a caseload.

“She’s really out of touch,” Ferrell added.

Listen to Dori Monson 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
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Apple Cup rivalry...
Dori Monson Show

Apple Cup rivalry: Couple’s ashes to be buried in UW, WSU helmets

The Apple Cup kicks off for UW and WSU this Saturday, but one married couple is taking the rivalry to their own eventual 'end zone.'
1 day ago
Tacoma carjacking...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: 9-year-old resolved to protect mom after Tacoma carjacking

Emily and her 9-year-old son tell the harrowing story of how they survived a recent carjacking at their Tacoma home.
3 days ago
Light Rail Homeless...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Seattle rider giving up on mass transit after feeling ‘less safe’

After nearly 20 years of riding mass transit in the Seattle area, one woman tells Dori that she will be driving her car from now on.
5 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Family ‘wrecked’ after two-time ‘Three Strikes’ killer gets early release

A convicted killer and two-time “Three Strikes, You’re Out” offender in Southwest Washington is now eligible to be freed from prison in as few as five years.
8 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Is your cryptocurrency part of the new FTX scandal?

Worse than Enron. That’s what experts are calling the FTX financial scandal still erupting before cryptocurrency investors’ eyes.
8 days ago
ingraham student...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Ingraham teacher swears, blames Seattleites who ‘didn’t vote blue’ for school shooting

Dori Monson Show listeners who saw the post told Dori they were “incredulous” at the teacher’s obscene rant and political “hijacking” of the shooting.
17 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Dori: King Co. Prosecutor candidate says crime at ‘crisis levels,’ opponent is ‘elitist’