Selby picks up endorsement from his old co-workers

A fired county prosecutor has received the endorsement of his former colleagues at the Island County Prosecutor’s office.

Steve Selby, Republican candidate for Island County prosecutor, received the endorsement of the prosecutor’s union. Selby was notified Thursday that his former colleagues in the county prosecutor’s office have thrown their support to his campaign to unseat incumbent Democrat Greg Banks.

Selby said in a written statement that “after working with the excellent deputy prosecutors of the Island County Prosecutor’s Office for almost every work day for nearly eight years, it is extremely gratifying to know that they have closely observed the performance of me and my opponent and endorse me rather than the prosecutor who hired them,” Selby said.

“I applaud their bravery in taking this stand in light of the repercussions that could befall them,” Selby continued. “I am proud that those who are most closely associated with the effective prosecution of crime and law enforcement, the Island County deputy prosecutors, believe that I am the most qualified to be the next Island County prosecuting attorney.”

Selby was also endorsed by the Oak Harbor Police Association.

Banks fired Selby as the chief criminal deputy prosecutor after Selby announced he would campaign for Banks’ job.

The chief criminal deputy and the civil deputy are appointed positions. All the other prosecutors are members of the Island County Prosecutors and Teamsters Local 231.

The secretary of the Local 231 officially notified Island County Commissioner Mac McDowell, of the union’s support for Selby. The union office in Bellingham conducted the official vote.

Banks fired back on Friday, saying the office of the prosecuting attorney is not a place for political games.

“I will not allow politics to affect how we represent the people. Anyone who attempts to interject politics into the internal workings of the office is not qualified to hold this job,” Banks said in a written statement.

Banks also noted that because Selby started his political campaign while still in the office, it’s wasn’t surprising that he would create a split among the deputies.

“When I first became aware of Mr. Selby’s campaign, I told my deputies that regardless of any political position they take in this race, we must place our duty to the public first and foremost, ahead of politics. The non-unanimous vote of the five deputies in the union does not change that,” Banks said.

“It’s not surprising that there is some frustration that gets directed at their boss,” he added. “I wish I had the authority to pay them more (they clearly deserve it), or the power to reduce the number of cases that come into the office, but I don’t. And I won’t lower my prosecution standards. I expect my deputies to stand their ground, and resist easy settlements.”

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