Lin takes oath as OK county prosecutor
“This is a good day for justice in Okanogan County,” said retiring Superior Court Judge Chris Culp as he swore in his successor, Robert Grim.
Grim took the oath of office on Friday (March 25) in a packed courtroom, before judges and court staff from Okanogan and neighboring counties, law enforcement officers, Okanogan County employees, fellow attorneys, and friends and family.
Grim told the courtroom that he hadn’t expected to be taking this oath so soon. Just last year, he resigned after four years as Okanogan County District Court judge to focus on his work in private practice in the Winthrop law firm of Kuehler & Grim. Grim said he had expected to be able to continue to sleep in with his kids and ride his bike to work from his home in Winthrop.
But after Culp announced his retirement, Grim said he learned that people had faith in his judgment and judicial temperament and decided to apply for the position. “I don’t take this responsibility lightly,” he said. As problem solvers who help resolve legal disputes, judges provide a valuable public service, he said.
Grim said he’s excited to be stepping into a situation with an excellent bench mate, Superior Court Judge Henry Rawson, and colleagues with years of experience. The talented and proficient staff in Superior Court will help ensure Grim’s success, Culp said.
Grim said he hopes his service will do justice to the efforts of others. He thanked his family for being his greatest source of support outside work, and mentioned how much he’d learned from his former law partner, Natalie Kuehler.
Rawson welcomed his colleague to the bench, noting that Grim starts in his new role on April Fool’s Day. He credited Grim for his background on the bench, including in family therapeutic court, and for his sense of humor.
Grim earned his bachelor’s degree at Washington State University and his law degree at Gonzaga University School of Law. He was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee in February. He will need to file for the November election and win in order to serve out the remainder of Culp’s term, which runs through the end of 2024.
Lin sworn in
Earlier on Friday, Albert Lin was sworn in as Okanogan County prosecuting attorney. Lin was selected by the county commissioners in February to fill the seat of Melanie Bailey, who resigned in January. Lin had previously served as Okanogan County’s chief civil deputy prosecuting attorney from 2015 to 2017.
The prosecutor is on the ballot for the full four-year term this November. Lin will have to run for election and win to remain in the post.