Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:04 a.m.
Mayor Nadine Woodward appointed current Spokane Municipal Court Commissioner Kristin O’Sullivan to fill the vacant judge seat in the same court.
O’Sullivan has covered cases on the Municipal Court judge docket for more than two years as a commissioner and is a committee member of the District Municipal Court Judges’ Association. She has also previously worked as the chief assistant city prosecutor, deputy county prosecutor, and a private criminal defense attorney.
“We were looking for someone who has a well-rounded judicial background, believes in accountability, and is experienced in the therapeutic and problem-solving courts,” Woodward said. “Kristin is well-respected by her peers and her experience with all elements of the Municipal Court process set her apart.”
O’Sullivan spent five years with the City Prosecutor’s Office, including her last four as chief assistant, more than a year as a Spokane County deputy prosecutor, about two years as a Benton County deputy prosecutor, and more than four years as a private practice criminal defense attorney.
“I am committed to the continued support of problem-solving courts and effective alternative programs,” O’Sullivan said. “I am also committed to holding individuals accountable for their actions and recognize the impact crimes such as domestic violence have on our community.”
O’Sullivan will fill the seat vacated by Judge Tracy Staab, who won election to the Court of Appeals in November. Her appointment is pending City Council confirmation and is expected to be considered next week. She was selected from a pool of 17 applicants and was one of three finalists interviewed during a community forum on Tuesday.
Woodward considered feedback from a screening panel of subject-matter experts, an interview panel of community members and subject-matter experts, and the community forum in making her selection. O’Sullivan is the first person to be appointed to a Municipal Court judge seat since 2018 when current presiding Judge Matthew Antush was selected to replace current Superior Court Judge Shelley Szambelan.
Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction with statutory authority to adjudicate criminal misdemeanors, civil infractions, and limited civil matters. A full job description is available on the City’s website.