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Washington prosecutor, defender relationship imperils cases

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 2, 2020

Associated Press

Associated Press

MARYSVILLE, Wash. – A relationship between a former prosecutor and a public defender could throw into question more than 300 cases in Washington.

Former Marysville City Prosecutor Al Treacy and defense attorney Marne Whitney were often on opposite sides of cases while also in a sexual relationship, the Daily Herald reported Sunday.

The relationship lasted from at least August 2019 to March 2020 without the knowledge of their supervisors and clients, the Herald reported.

Both attorneys left their positions in June. Treacy, a 12-year veteran at the city prosecutor’s office, resigned before any action was taken against him. Whitney, who worked at the time for the city-contracted Feldman & Lee law firm, was fired.

Brandon Feldman, a partner with Feldman & Lee, said Whitney was reported to the Washington State Bar Association as soon as the “inappropriate relationship” was discovered.

Marysville Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said in a letter that the relationship violated state court rules of professional conduct and presented a legal liability.

The city will review the cases Treacy and Whitney handled during their relationship and could potentially reopen some of them, Hirashima wrote.

Feldman & Lee notified more than 300 defendants of potential impacts on their cases, Marysville spokesperson Connie Mennie said in an email.Through an attorney, Whitney disputed some details Treacy provided city officials, including the length of the relationship. Whitney said the relationship began shortly after she joined Feldman & Lee in May 2019 and did not end until June 2020.

Treacy declined to comment.

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