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Letters to the editor: March 8, 2008
Editorial overlooked judges work
It is disappointing that The Mirror has faulted Judge Michael Morgan (Mirror editorial, March 1) for sharing information about former Judge Colleen Hartls indiscretions with seven city council members while the media has shared the same information on multiple occasions with thousands of readers.
Morgan did not publicly comment about Hartls misconduct until after the media reports and numerous requests for comment.
In stark contrast to Mayor Jack Doveys statements, Morgan also did not publicly criticize other elected officials for those officials handling of the situation.
An accurate examination of the record shows that Morgan displayed genuine leadership in his handling of a very difficult situation by getting substitute judges to cover Hartls calendars; by making counseling available for any staff members who were troubled by Hartls poor choices; by prohibiting public defender Sean Cecil from representing indigent defendants in Federal Way until he disclosed the duration of his relationship with Hartl; by appointing new lawyers on all cases that may have been tainted by Hartls and Cecils secret relationship; and by agreeing to release the records that form the basis of this papers criticism.
I have served as a pro tem judge in the Federal Way court and I have seen Morgan assume additional responsibilities caused by Hartls resignation. Rather than criticize Morgan for dealing with circumstances he did not create and extraneous tasks no presiding judge should have to shoulder, I believe Morgan should be thanked for protecting the rights of litigants and holding the court together during a very challenging time.
Jon M. Zimmerman, Seattle attorney
Editors note: The editorial from March 1 focused on the leadership Judge Dave Larson will bring to the Federal Way Municipal Court. The editorial also called attention to the way Judge Michael Morgan handled a public controversy, and was not an affront to Morgans personal character or otherwise professional work ethic. The Mirror