Prosecutor Benton, who urged him to resign after 36 years and 9 elections


Benton County Attorney Andy Miller announces in the new Kenevik County Administration building that his ninth term will be his last and he plans to retire at the end of 2022.

Three-city Herald

After nine election victories and service in Benton County for 36 years, prosecutor Andy Miller has decided to resign.

Miller, 68, is a senior Washington attorney general who has worked longer than any other attorney.

He is also the only elected Democrat in the three cities and possibly in southeastern Washington.

Miller decided to make his statement Tuesday at the new Benton County administration building in Kennewick.

He said he chose a government agency to prevent its policies. So the focus was on law enforcement, advocacy groups, relatives of the murder victims and the community as a whole, which allowed him to be a county attorney for so long, Miller said.

It stood only in the conference hall of the commissioner, it was attended by about 200 people. At least 40 spilled into the corridor.

“I love my job and I’m very passionate about doing the job right …” the Miller told the Tri-City Herald. “But I believe that work is reflected, and I believe that in my life I can enjoy retirement. I just think it’s time to go. “

A bitter decision

Miller said that when he started telling colleagues about his decision in December, it was still bitter.

There is still a lot of work to be done before the end of his current term at the end of this year, especially due to the backlog of cases from the moratorium on the COVID pandemic trial and the recent crackdown on violent crime in three cities.

He is also concerned that the office remains struggling to hire more prosecutors, and that some of the hard work he and his deputies have put into their cases may be overturned by new laws and sentencing procedures.

Benton County Attorney Andy Miller congratulated people Tuesday before announcing his retirement after 36 years. Jennifer King Three-city Herald

Miller said he has established relationships and good trust with family members on some of the office’s high-profile cases, so he spent Monday talking to them about his retirement plans before they learned from other sources.

“Depending on what happens, I will certainly be available after my term expires to help finish these cases if I am asked” to take on the role of special prosecutor, he told the Herald.

He is ready to step back from all this and engage more in travel, hiking, open water swimming, reading and volunteering.

“I think I’ve done my best for some of the families I’ve worked with for years,” Miller said. “Our office has done some great things with our therapeutic vessels, and I am especially proud of the Kids Haven program in which we collaborate with (Center for Support, Advocacy and Resources) and children are interviewed in a child-friendly interview room and recorded, and this is conducted by a professionally trained interviewer for children.

“I think we’ve achieved a lot, and I love this job … but I’m willing to give the helm to someone else.”

And Miller said he can’t help but note the pride he has for all the staff who have passed through his office, past and present, and their commitment to providing open courtrooms to the public.

The prosecutor’s office

Miller, who grew up in Benton County, returned to the area just graduated from law school to work in the prosecutor’s office.

He was deputy prosecutor for six years before running for prosecutor in 1986 with the retirement of Kurt Ludwig.

It was his first contentious election, and Miller beat at this point Ray Whitlow’s lawyer. Miller was challenged in 1990 by attorney Carl Sonderman.

For the next seven terms, the prosecutor did not nominate a candidate on the ballot.

He believes that one of the reasons other lawyers have decided not to oppose him for the past three decades is that the consensus was that he did a good job, and for that he owes good relations with his superiors. – the people who elected him, he said.

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Benton County Attorney Andy Miller announced Tuesday at the Benton County Administration Building that his ninth term will be his last and he will retire at the end of the year. Jennifer King Three-city Herald

Although Miller was re-elected again and again in a very conservative area, he said he did not believe the elected prosecutor should occupy the party.

He added that it gave him some pause, not knowing what would happen to the office when he left, but acknowledged that politics was already so polarized on both sides.

“I think it cuts both sides. I think Seattle has a problem, and you have essentially one-party rule in King County, and I think we’re approaching one-party rule in eastern Washington. And I don’t think that’s good, “Miller said. “I think we are transparent and accountable, and I think the election is very important.”

“I feel like a good example of how Republicans and Democrats can work together. During my tenure, I received a lot of support from Republicans, ”he continued. “I am worried that now everything is becoming too partisan and too polarized. I hope we get more people who can work through the aisles and do everything. ”

Last week, Richland registered attorney Eric Eisinger with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission to campaign for the Benton County Attorney’s Office. He called himself a Republican.

Candidate Week in Washington State runs from May 16 to 20.

This story was originally published March 2, 2022 11:37.

Christine M. Kramer covers the judiciary and crime for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for over 20 years in Washington and California.

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