Candidates for Clallam County Prosecutor squared off before the Port Angeles Business Association yesterday morning. The format was pretty much the same as usual, each candidate gets 3 minutes to introduce themselves and then members get to ask questions.
Didn’t take Nichols long to start misrepresenting his record during the first three years of his first term. In answer to a question as to why his office’s budget was increased by one million dollars during his first term he explained it was grant funded and was for ancillary services. This turned out to be false as pointed out by challenger Selinda Barkhuis, former two-term Clallam County Treasurer.
Later Nichols suggested the reason for the increased budget was because of the increase in felony filings. Here is where the legal lying comes in. Nichols has a habit of filing felony charges, basking in the headlines, and then quietly dropping the charges without ever prosecuting them. Many felony cases referred to his office by police and sheriff’s offices are never even filed.
Case in point: Back when the vigilantes were their most virulent Nichols filed charges for possession of ten stolen cell phones, possession of two “sacks full” of data cards taken from stolen cell phones, posting on a social media site a video of a sex act taken from a stolen cell phone. All these charges were later dropped without even a defense motion to dismiss.
This same fellow was referred by sheriff’s deputies for felony charges of spraying bear repellent into a moving automobile in which a family was driving on a county road. Nichols completely shrugged off this charge with no explanation to the community as to why this should not be prosecuted.
Nichols did admit, in his answer to a lawsuit filed in federal court by his then office manager, that he spent “hours a day” in her office attempting to seduce his office manager. Apparently he was attempting to break up her marriage for his own satisfaction. He seemed to think this okay since he was “friends” with her and her family outside the office. He was even named as the “godfather” of one of their children.
Allegedly Nichols told her his family is rich and he could take better care of her than her blue-collar husband.
Nichols seems to think he can buy his re-election with ridiculously large numbers of ridiculously large campaign signs. All paid for by east coast money managers. Less than 5% of Nichols campaign contributions come from Clallam County supporters.
Nichols inattention to his job has cost county taxpayers millions of dollars in payouts for lawsuits filed against the county and won or settled. Nichols was responsible for a million dollar payout for an age discrimination suit filed by long-serving women whom he fired from the county prosecutor’s office. Seems he prefers to work around younger women.
Nichols was directly responsible for the half-million dollar payout to Scott Lange who fought the county for almost two decades on a land use issue which he finally won after Nichols spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars defending an indefensible case.
County taxpayers dodged an even bigger potential payout when it was found that Nichols had denied a public records request that would have cinched the aforementioned land-use case had the public records been delivered as the law requires. This could have been another multi-million dollar payout had not Lange agreed to drop the public records case as part of his settlement of his decades old land use case.
Never has a choice for county prosecutor been more clear-cut. Barkhuis, a sixteen year employee of the county with an impeccable record for reliably safeguarding nearly one hundred million taxpayer dollars during her two terms in the treasurer’s office versus a rich playboy who uses the office to seduce women while allowing felons to go free–and then lying about his record.
Nichols bragged about being transparent and accessible citing his many appearances on local radio. He did not mention the wife of the station manager works in his office. Nichols declined at least six invitations for an interview on television.
He can’t seem to find time to appear in a format he cannot control.