Charleen Groomes and Rae Jean Kelley Run for Okanogan County Clerk

I noticed this summer that there was a three-way Clerk’s race this summer in Okanogan County:   Charleen Groomes, Cindy Gagne, and Rae Jean Kelley.   Normally clerk’s races are pretty low-key events, and often times the clerks is uncontested.  The out-going clerk, Jackie Bradley, had served in that position for 38 years.  I don’t recall her ever being contested.  (But then again I wasn’t practicing law and blogging back in the 70’s; I was learning how to read and ride a bike.)  Since I didn’t know any of the three candidates, I fired off an email to all three complaining how the current clerk had overcharged me once.  I wrote:

Dear _______,

I was wondering how you felt as a clerk candidate about certain charges to the public.  I once went to the clerks window to look at a file, and i asked for copies made.  The copies were just of an exhibit attached to a declaration.  I did not want the whole filing, the declaration itself, or the other attachments.  However, the person at the window  said if i wanted part of it, i would have to get all of it, and would have to pay to have the whole filing copied.  This didn’t seem right tome, and i was not able to find any other clerk’s office across the state that had a similar policy.  I called to complain to Jackie Bradley and she basically just said “too bad” that is our policy. Isn’t that just a waste of paper, and doesn’t that just result in an over-charge to the public[?]  (Note, that the request was not for a certified copy.)  What do you think about this?  Would you continue the same policy regarding copy costs?  I am just curious.  Thanks.
–Steve

I wasn’t sure what sort of response I would get, but I received thoughtful responses from all three candidates.  Rae Jean Kelley asked around at some other Clerk’s offices and confirmed that the neighboring clerks did not charge for those unnecessary copies.  She indicated that my suggested way of handling the matter could be done, but that she would reserve the right to make the determination depending on the document copy requested.  Charlene Groomes didn’t seem to agree with the current policy either, and indicated that she would review such policies if elected.  The candidate Cindy Gagne seemed like she was the most ardent supporter of the change of these fees.  However, she was beaten in the primary.  Wanna learn more about the clerk candidate Charleen Groomes or Rae Jean Kelley?  Check out their Facebook campaign sites here and here. They both are republicans.

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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