Woodward Names Smithson Interim City Attorney

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 12:03 p.m.

Mayor Nadine Woodward named Lynden Smithson interim City Attorney today to replace Mike Ormsby, who is retiring next month.

Smithson will begin shadowing Ormsby on Tuesday as part of a transition process over the next few weeks. Ormsby’s last day as City Attorney will be June 10 and Smithson will assume the interim job. Ormsby will continue on in a reduced capacity with the City to oversee risk management activities into at least August and be available to assist Smithson through the transition.

“We are at a critical time as we emerge from a pandemic with numerous important quality of life considerations in front of us that will determine the future of our great city,” Woodward said. “Lynden’s experience with the challenges we face and the opportunities to pursue solutions will be important to our forward movement.”

Smithson has been with the City Prosecutor’s Office for almost 20 years and currently serves as the chief assistant prosecutor, lead domestic violence prosecutor, and the office’s representative on the mental health court. He has headed a development team dedicated to improving the use of technology for records sharing and coordination across the criminal justice system.

“The City has the opportunity to get ahead of some challenges that other larger cities have struggled with for some time,” Smithson said. “We have a really good foundation of therapeutic courts and service connectivity that we can learn from and enhance our ability to offer the right balance of compassion and accountability.”

Smithson served in private civil and defense practice for two firms prior to joining the City Prosecutor’s Office. His civil practice focused on employment law and his criminal defense work was on behalf of both misdemeanor and felony defendants.

Smithson is a graduate of Gonzaga Law School and the University of Washington. A full search is expected to be conducted for a permanent replacement, which must be confirmed by the City Council.