Third-World Justice at District Court?

District Court Judge Rick Porter attempts to “anoint” successor on his way out.

Not content with attempts to commandeer and re-direct a million-dollar contract for indigent defense, outgoing District Court Judge Rick Porter is now attempting to anoint his campaign manager, Dave Neupert as his successor in November.

Readers may remember a while back when Porter claimed he had a “conflict” with the Clallam Public Defender’s office and they would be unwelcome in “his” court room. He did not claim a conflict with a particular attorney in the public defender’s office but a conflict with ALL of them.

Port O Call reported this as a clumsy attempt to re-direct a government contract to one of his political cronies.

Now, after Porter’s announcement he would not run for re-election to a 5th term, he bailed from the bench to (allegedly) go active with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps for 60 days. On his way out the door Porter appointed yet another political crony, Dave Neupert as his “fill-in” judge at the tune of $75 per hour. This means Porter will continue to receive his judge’s salary plus his active duty pay from the military (allegedly) while taxpayers pay for both these salaries and the substitute judge’s salary.

During Porter’s fawning interview with the daily paper Porter could not say enough about what a great job Neupert would do as his fill-in judge. It was as close to a political endorsement as a sitting judge could get without prompting yet another investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Reader’s may remember Neupert was Porter’s re-election campaign manager during Porter’s last campaign for his current term. Reader’s may also remember voters soundly rejected Neupert when he ran for Superior Court judge against Brian Coughenour.

Readers may also remember a plethora of false entries on Porter’s campaign finance forms filed with the state’s election commission. All presumably filed by Neupert as campaign manager.

Now, back to that million dollar contract for indigent defense. When Porter’s attempt failed to bar the entire public defender’s staff of defense attorneys from “his” courtroom he came back with another plan. In this latest scheme Porter wants to set up yet another crony, sequim attorney Larry Freedman, to be a “Commissioner” for district court. In this new plan Freedman would sit as a gatekeeper and appoint selected (connected) attorneys to provide indigent defense at district court.

Rumors around the courthouse say attorney Karen Unger threatened to sue the county commissioners if they instituted such a program.

Both Neupert and Freedman are Porter’s “hand-picked” pro tem judges in district court.

All of this needs to be in proper perspective. Clallam Public Defenders provided indigent defense in this county for three decades. During this time the county has never been sued for improper indigent defense services.

Why change? So the sitting judge can decide who will get to practice indigent defense in district court.

Instead of Porter being able “double-dip” into taxpayer money and also attempt to anoint his successor he should go ahead and resign and allow the county commissioners to appoint his temporary replacement to sit until the upcoming election in November.

Otherwise, this is beginning to resemble third-world machinations with our court system.


  1. Ben Cappa

    Thank you for keeping us informed about our county government…

  2. Sereena Townsend

    I’m going to say this as nice as I can Judge poster is A JAG officer does anyone know what an ELITE part of our judicial system the top of the whole court system (damn honored an lucky for us to have such a catch) an it seems to me when your honor an the long dangerous hours of our opnet team an our great coordinator of that(officer Viada)? That this town finally stood a chance.they worked very hard an the drugs seemed to simmer then only for their efforts it seems u felt it an unfair way, what in fair to seriously strip these drug dealers (infectors I call them) of anything they had at the time of their disease spreading an started saying they have rites! Are u freaking kidding me. How many died last yr. Due to the shit u people feel was getting a raw trial. I call bullshit look out there now they sit rite on the busy streets an ‘shoot’ dope there is no end to it now. But u have problems paying the salary’s of those who put many flipping yrs. Into trying to keep us safe an our DAMN children OFF OF THAT BULLSHIT THAT TOOK a brother a mother a sister a niece, nephew jeasus when does clallam co get off their asses quit ???ing the professionals who were doing the job that sure the hell u can’t do. Pay these people what they say they are worth because u people are so damn unedgecated im thinking u are related to f++++++ Trump!!!!!

    1. Richard

      Calm down Sereena, you’re gonna have a stroke! May I suggest you clean your rose colored glasses off because I believe you were standing too close to the bullshit being flung by the less than perfect “public servant’s” you blindly idolize! You apparently don’t know the difference between reality and perceptions! Do yourself another favor, use spell check next time! One more thing, please stop voting! If you didn’t vote for Trump that means you voted for Hitlery! MAGA!

  3. Steve

    Not sure here. Viada’s wife was fired from the court. (Probation officer) Porter imposes fines more than the required. He needs the numbers for revenue percentages for his now (non existent) JAG is almost past his age limit (almost 60) before un eligible ). This town/city/ county is backwards. Unlike the rest of us who are trying to be progressive. Many of us enjoy being here. BUT, until we get rid of the old “wood” we not be free from BS.


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