New civil deputy assumes post

Public service runs in Dan Mitchell’s veins.

Preceded by three generations of police officers, his role as the new Island County Chief Civil Deputy seems to come naturally.

“I was definitely interested in public sector work,” Mitchell said. “My father, grandfather and great grandfather were Chicago police officers.”

Mitchell is replacing Dave Jamieson who served Island County for 37 years and whose last day was Aug. 14.

Mitchell, who has worked under Jamieson for the last six years, said he has learned a lot from the experience and his predecessor.

“Dave is a great person and an excellent attorney,” Mitchell said.

“I’ve been lucky to have had his guidance for the six years I’ve been here. He leaves with 37 years of institutional knowledge and that’s certainly not replaceable.

“I’m not going to be slipping into those shoes — I’m going to be cobbling my own.”

Mitchell grew up in Chicago, received his undergraduate degree at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., but was drawn to the natural beauty of the Northwest for his graduate work.

“The area with the Sound and the mountains … the incredible beauty of the area drew me here and kept me,” Mitchell said.

He received his law degree at Seattle University School of Law in 2006.

Mitchell said the curriculum he pursued there prepared him for his new role, with courses in growth management, land use, environmental law and administrative law.

In his time at Island County, Mitchell has already served as lead attorney on a handful of the county’s more challenging growth management cases, including the size of Oak Harbor’s urban growth area.

The plan that resulted from this lengthy project was finally adopted by the Island County Board of Commissioners in May 2011, and was still in litigation until a few months ago, Mitchell said.

Island County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Banks, who promoted Mitchell, said he was a good fit for the job because of his experience and loyalty to the county.

“A chief position is someone who serves at the will of the elected officials and has to be someone I can work with in a confidential manner and serve the needs of the constituency,” Bank said. “He’s already done a good job with us on land use issues. He was a good choice.”

His wife Teresa, who he met in Seattle, works as a grant administrator at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Mitchell is an avid soccer player and coach, and he and his wife enjoy cooking, hiking and camping with their chocolate lab, Chloe.

Since 2008, Mitchell has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association’s Board of Bar Examiners, which is a volunteer position that oversees the Washington bar exam to ensure that those people seeking to become licensed attorneys in the state are competent to practice law.

“I’m looking forward to providing service and sound advice,” Mitchell said.

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