I have been reading with curiosity the letters regarding the candidates for prosecuting attorney and decided to get to the bottom of some of the claims made against Rea Culwell.
I asked her whether she passed the bar in 2002 or 2001, she said she passed the bar exam in 2001, but was not sworn in as a member of the bar until 2002. This must be where the confusion comes into play.
I asked her what it cost the county to defend against the Petersons suing the county over the wind turbine project. Her answer? "Nothing."
Because of the ordinances Rea Culwell drafted during her term, all attorney's fees and costs, including her work is billed and paid for by PSE. Jim Peterson is wrong and doesn' t have his facts straight.
I asked her about Randy Lewis charging the county too much for services. She showed me a note written on one of Randy Lewis's bills by Judge Acey, it said "I cannot approve; these bills are too high in my opinion. I will be happy to meet with Mr. Lewis and the Commissioners to discuss the same."
Randy Lewis told Judge Acey that he wouldn't serve as public defender unless the county paid his bill and Judge Acey's response, "Then we have an agreement."
Randy Lewis has not been appointed as a public defender in any case after that. He did agree to perform some services for free for one client, but not on behalf of the county.
I asked her about Randy Lewis' budget proposal for cutting travel by $2,000. She informed me that if he did that, he'd be giving grant money back to the state.
She explained that 85 percent of the travel budget is funded by grants, contracts with the state, or direct reimbursement from the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Washington Association of County Officials and Washington Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners.
If it is not spent on travel, the money does not come into the county.
Surely Randy Lewis' proposal to cut free training isn't what he intends.
We went through every claim she has on her red flier and she had the documentation to back everything up.
If you have doubts, talk to Rea Culwell, she will provide you with all the information you need and answer a ny questions.