Spokane Municipal Court has a new judge.
Kristin O’Sullivan was unanimously confirmed on Thursday by the Spokane City Council, whose members praised her experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” O’Sullivan told the City Council after its vote in a virtual meeting.
O’Sullivan will fill the vacancy left by Judge Tracy Staab, who was elected to the state Court of Appeals in November. The appointment lasts only through this year, although she will be eligible to run for election.
O’Sullivan is no stranger to the city court, where she has already served as a commissioner for the past two years. Prior to that, her career in law includes stints as chief assistant city prosecutor, deputy county prosecutor in Benton and Spokane counties, and a private criminal defense attorney.
Councilwoman Karen Stratton said she was able to meet with O’Sullivan and came away “very, very impressed.”
Councilwoman Lori Kinnear praised O’Sullivan’s “wealth and breadth of experience.”
“I think we will be well-served,” Kinnear said.
The city advertised the position shortly after the state election results were certified and it was confirmed Staab would leave a vacancy.
The posting drew 17 applications, which were reviewed and narrowed to a pool of three finalists by a panel that included City Council members, administration officials and experts, according to Mayor Nadine Woodward.
The three finalists were interviewed in a community forum last week.
“She quickly rose to the very top of that list and is exceptionally qualified to fill this role,” Woodward said.
The position earns an annual salary of $181,301.
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