Election 2018: Meet your candidates for Okanogan County Prosecutor

Editor’s Note: We asked the two candidates for Okanogan County Prosecutor to answer a few questions for our readers and...

Editor’s Note: We asked the two candidates for Okanogan County Prosecutor to answer a few questions for our readers and the following are their answers in their own words.

Brandon Platter

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Web Branden Platter-31I was born and raised in Washington.  I got my Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Oregon and went to law school at Golden Gate Law School on a full scholarship.  I worked my way through school doing landscape construction, eventually becoming a project manager and project bidder. My years in that field gave me valuable experience as a supervisor and managing large budgets.  I was appointed as the County Prosecutor in August 2017 after serving as the Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor for over three years.

Why do you  want to be elected?

I want to continue serving as the County Prosecutor because I love what I do.  I became a prosecutor to help people and be a voice for victims. I am passionate about the work that I do every day and take the job seriously.  I believe I have a good balance between protecting the public by aggressively prosecuting violent crimes, sex offenses, crimes against children and drug dealers, while being reasonable and seeking service-based resolutions and alternatives to confinement on lower level offenses.  I work well with other departments and have a good relationship with law enforcement. Myself, the deputy prosecutors, and the support staff in the office are a team and we all work very well together. Aside from being the County Prosecutor, I am a citizen of this county and I want to ensure that this county is a safe and pleasant place for all of us.  I believe my experience as the current County Prosecutor makes me the best candidate to continue this mission.

What are the three most important issues facing the office?

  1. One of the biggest difficulties facing the office is the budget.  I am familiar with the budget and know where we can, and cannot, improve the office’s use of taxpayer money.  I have improved our office’s use of outside counsel in civil matters in a way that has already saved the county thousands of dollars.  I have tripled one area of funds to our victim advocate program at no cost to the taxpayer. Our ability to “cut” funds from our current budget is extremely slim, however, there are always ways to increase the efficiency of our spending and obtain outside funds.

  2. The Prosecutor’s Office is also facing a tremendous increase in cases over the last five years.  Five years ago, the office filed around 350 felony cases per year. That number has increased to approximately 500 over the last couple years.  The same type of increase can be seen in misdemeanor cases. Yet, with this increase, we have never received funds for additional prosecutors to handle the increased caseloads.  We continue to face the problem of how to efficiently prosecute all charges possible with the limited staff and resources we have. I have increased the efficiency of how we process incoming cases to determine whether the case can be filed and I have eliminated some unnecessary procedures in the court system that has sped up the court calendars.  I will continue to look for more ways to streamline how we process cases to ensure that we file all cases that can be filed and ensure that all victims receive justice.

  3. Another difficulty the office faces is the continued communication with law enforcement and victims. I speak with every victim in all of my cases and I ensure that the other prosecutors in my office do as well. While our time is very limited, I believe victims need to know what is going on in their case and we need to ensure that we are not just giving them updates, but explaining the law and the process so they have a full understanding of what is going on with their case.  I have good communication with law enforcement. I make myself available to officers 24/7 for legal questions and guidance. I have done this for years. We do our best to include officers in plea negotiations, but that can certainly be improved. We also make time to prepare officers for trial by going over evidence and anticipated testimony. However, we can always make more time to do this if needed. I would encourage my office to try to increase this communication, but I would also try to encourage law enforcement to contact us more.  We are always willing to help, but if there is something they need or want, they need to let us know. Whether it be additional trainings, additional trial preparation, or additional information about case resolutions, they need only ask, and I would try to continue encouraging law enforcement to reach out to our office.

 

Arian Noma

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Web Adrian Noma-31After working in prosecution in Maryland from 2006-2010, I opened a private practice that has spanned Maryland, Washington, DC and Okanogan Country. In 2014, I began to solely practice in Washington and opened an office in Tonasket. I later joined Thomason Justice, PS in Pateros in May of 2017. When not working, I am with family or engaging in some type of service. I had the honor of serving as the assistant basketball coach of the Oroville Hornets during the 2016-2017 season.

Why do you  want to be elected?

I possess the experience, humility, and integrity for this position. I gained the experience required to lead through my unique and challenging life experiences. My humility allows me to understand that my vision for change cannot be accomplished alone. It will take every citizen, but most importantly, it will require the already hardworking and dedicated staff. Luckily, Okanogan already has that type of staff, and if elected, I will be blessed to inherit a knowledgeable, friendly staff so dedicated to public service.

What are the three most important issues facing the office?

  1. I stand to reduce over-prosecution, crime, and wasted resources they choke our Liberty. Our liberty is being threatened by over-prosecution and over regulation. We must cease criminalizing all behavior. Criminal convictions needlessly destroy our youth and children’s futures. A person incarcerated, is 67% more likely to return to prison. Cases can be resolved without ever being formally prosecuted, further saving tax dollars. To combat over regulation, it is imperative to elect local officials that will protect the citizens’ rights at all costs; especially their Constitutional and Second Amendment rights. When pursuing convictions, we must do a better job of making sure that the defendant receives a fair trial and is allowed to exercise all of their Constitutional rights.

  2. Every 180 days a person serves in our local jail costs us roughly $19,530.00. The return on investment is a revolving door driven mainly by drug offenses. We can reduce the tax burden by only seeking convictions that are necessary to achieve punishment while making the community and/or a victim whole; reducing caseload and seeking reasonable bails only. We will be tough on crime, but more importantly smart on crime.

  3. I agree with our Sheriffs that constant communication with the Sheriff’s office, all other Government, the People, and the entire community is essential to ensure that our Citizens are free to enjoy liberty. By building relationships, cooperatives, and partnerships we can all work together to fashion the most efficient methods to the goal of protecting the peace and ensuring that our citizens enjoy maximum freedom to pursue liberty. My office will not only work with law enforcement regarding cases, we will offer trainings, discussions, and other opportunities to cooperate to solve cases together. Rapport and comradery are essential to forging relationships. Effective relationship equals effective law enforcement.

 

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