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County tabs former prosecutor to be hearings examiner

January 28th, 2014 - 5:44am

(Port Angeles) – The former acting Clallam County prosecutor has been hired to be the county's hearings examiner.

Clallam County commissioners voted 2-1 yesterday to name Mark Nichols to the position. It came just hours after Nichols stepped down from his prosecutor's role when interim Prosecuting Attorney Will Payne was sworn into office.

Commissioner Jim McEntire nominated Nichols. He and commissioner Mike Chapman voted for him. Commissioner Mike Doherty objected, calling it a “highly unusual” move.

The opening was created a few weeks ago, when Judge Chris Melly took the Superior Court bench.

The county had considered moving back to contracting out the hearings examiner position.

After the meeting, County Administrator Jim Jones called it a good move for the County, as there would be no service break in Nichols” term with the county, eliminating the need for cashing Nichols out, and other administrative red tape.

Nichols term of service began immediately. He'll also serve as an at-large court commissioner.

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