Coastal Voices: Micks should fill out DA term

By Lisa Specchio-Wolfe, Annamarie Padilla, Todd D. Zocchi and Rebecca Linkous November 25, 2013 05:33 pm

We sent this letter recently to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors:

The District Attorney’s Office prosecutes the criminal cases in Del Norte County. We are responsible for upholding the law and maintaining order in our community. The four criminal prosecutors work under the leadership of the district attorney or acting district attorney to ensure that justice is done in every case.

It is a difficult task, considering the numerous criminal cases we file each year. Every case is unique. Many of the cases are complex. The criminal prosecutors need an intelligent, strong, and ethical leader who can establish teamwork, trust, and continuity in our office.

Ms. Katherine Micks has done an exceptional job facilitating all of that. Ms. Micks stepped into the role of acting district attorney after our office fell into disarray. She is an intelligent, strong, and ethical leader, who already had the trust of the office from her prior years of service here as the assistant district attorney. We, as the prosecutors, work well under her and fully support her.

She has established the teamwork and continuity that we need and also improved efficiency and morale.

Ms. Micks reorganized the office and also streamlined the prosecution process. She initiated team meetings with the prosecutors, investigators, and support staff. She also has an open door policy for the local law enforcement agencies to contact her about any cases.

Ms. Micks has further made it a priority to contact every victim in every case so the criminal process would be more informative and less stressful to the victims. Ms. Micks has a pamphlet of victim’s rights mailed to each victim. She also has victim contact sheets in every file and a system for flagging files that require victim contact after every court proceeding.

Through Ms. Micks’ efforts, we are able to handle the large caseloads we are assigned more productively.

We, as the prosecutors, are asking the board to appoint Ms. Micks to be the district attorney for the remaining term. Not only do we believe that she is best suited for this position, but it would be incredibly disruptive to appoint a new district attorney for the year remaining on the term. We would have to redevelop the teamwork, trust, and continuity in our office that we already have under Ms. Micks.

There is not even a guarantee that a new district attorney could even re-establish what Ms. Micks has already established in our office.

Many times, a new district attorney results in the loss of morale and office turnover. We feel that it would be irrational for the Board to appoint someone new for such a short term, especially since Ms. Micks has been doing an exceptional job.

We ask that you take us into consideration when making an appointment.

Lisa Specchio-Wolfe, Annamarie Padilla, Todd D. Zocchi and Rebecca Linkous are deputy district attorneys for Del Norte County.