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Judge Morgan in the lion’s den

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on July 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
July 16, 2009 2:21 pm

Give him credit: Judge Michael Morgan of Federal Way stopped by here for an endorsement interview Wednesday despite a year and a half of receiving less-than-flattering coverage in The News Tribune (and criticism from this page).

Facing five challengers in the Aug. 18 primary, Morgan offered a vigorous defense of his first term in the city’s municipal court.

He created some of his own troubles with intemperate dealings with court staff and other city employees. He was reprimanded on one occasion by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, and he wound up in a long-running battle with this newspapers over a report on his court he didn’t want released. But – as he pointed out – no one’s been questioning his performance in the courtroom.

Being under fire for so long, he said, resulted in "the worst year and a half of my life."

"I’ll admit I’m a micromanager," he said of his tendency to dictate details of court management.

Just before the state Supreme Court ordered the release of the Stephson report, he had a bad feeling he’d wind up on the losing end: "The Number One reason: It’s hard for a judge to rule in favor of another judge. Number two: All the luck I’ve had lately is bad."

It was a good conversation. As we said to him, it’s too bad we couldn’t have had it a year and a half ago, when the fight over the Stephson report began.

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