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Pierce County Council committee votes to restore Superior Court seat

Post by David Wickert on March 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm with No Comments »
March 8, 2010 1:00 pm

The Pierce County Council’s rules committee this morning approved a measure repealing an ordinance eliminating the Superior Court seat vacated by Judge Michael Hecht.

The committee voted 3-0 to repeal the measure, without comment. The full council must still take action.

Last November the council approved an emergency ordinance eliminating Hecht’s seat a day after he announced his retirement. Hecht had been convicted of felony harassment and paying a man for sex.

The council cited the need for flexibility as it tried to cut spending in its 2010 budget. Though Superior Court positions are authorized and partially subsidized by the state Legislature, council members claimed state law gave them the authority to eliminate the position.

But last month the attorney general’s office issued an opinion concluding the council had exceeded its authority.

Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to appoint a replacement for Hecht later this year.

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