US attorney Federal courthouse in Vancouver top priority

first_imgWestern Washington’s top U.S. attorney was in Vancouver this week, emphasizing the importance of having a federal presence here and a strong relationship with local prosecutors and police.U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, whose offices are in Seattle, met with Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik before an interview Tuesday at The Columbian office. At the top of her priority list, she said, was continuing a strong partnership with law enforcement here and eventually making a fully staffed federal courthouse in Vancouver a reality.While defendants can make brief preliminary appearances at the Federal Building across from the Clark County Courthouse in downtown Vancouver, they must travel to the U.S. District Courthouse in Tacoma for resolution of their cases. Vancouver doesn’t have a federal judge or assistant U.S. attorneys, and relies on a part-time magistrate and local deputy prosecutors acting as special federal prosecutors.Former U.S. Rep. Brian Baird made headway when he launched a 23-member steering committee in 2005 to increase federal prosecution in Southwest Washington of illegal immigration, methamphetamine use, identity theft and embezzlement.last_img

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