Judge appoints special prosecutor in triple murder case

Judge appoints special prosecutor in triple murder case
FILE -- Kevin Harper in court.

YAKIMA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT NEWS RELEASE -- SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE RUTH REUKAUF HAS SELECTED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR IN THE HARPER CASE.  IN AN ORDER SIGNED TODAY BY YAKIMA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE RICHARD BARTHELD, JEFFERY C. SULLIVAN IS APPOINTED AS THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR THE LIMITED PURPOSE OF: (A) INVESTIGATION; (B) PREPARATION; (C) DISCOVERY; AND (D) PARTICIPATION IN ALL COURT PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO THE STATE’S ACCESS TO JAIL TELEPHONE CALLS BETWEEN THE DEFENDANT AND HIS DEFENSE ATTORNEYS.

MR. SULLIVAN IS THE FORMER ELECTED PROSECUTOR IN YAKIMA COUNTY AND ALSO SERVED AS UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON.

THIS APPOINTMENT IS MADE UPON AN AGREED MOTION OF THE PARTIES FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO SUBSTITUTE FOR YAKIMA COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY JAMES HAGARTY.  THE APPOINTMENT IS BEING MADE BECAUSE THE YAKIMA COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY IS TEMPORARILY UNABLE TO PERFORM HIS DUTIES BECAUSE OF A POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITHIN HIS OFFICE.  THE COURT WAS ADVISED BY COUNSEL FOR THE PARTIES THAT THE SELECTION OF A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR SHALL BE MADE BY THE COURT.

MR. SULLIVAN WILL BE PAID $150 DOLLARS AN HOUR SUBJECT TO RCW 36.27.030.  RCW 36.27.030 STATES, “ WHEN ANY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY FAILS, FROM SICKNESS OR OTHER CAUSE, TO ATTEND A SESSION OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF HIS OR HER COUNTY, OR IS UNABLE TO PERFORM HIS OR HER DUTIES AT SUCH SESSION, THE COURT OR JUDGE MAY APPOINT SOME QUALIFIED PERSON TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF SUCH SESSION, AND THE APPOINTEE SHALL RECEIVE COMPENSATION TO BE FIXED BY THE COURT, TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE STATED SALARY OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, NOT EXCEEDING, HOWEVER, ONE-FORTH OF THE QUARTERLY SALARY OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY”.