The Pierce County Council named Mark Lindquist to be the next county prosecuting attorney on Tuesday.
The unanimous vote means Lindquist – currently the office’s chief criminal deputy – replaces Gerald Horne, who is retiring as prosecuting attorney after nine years. Lindquist was sworn in during Tuesday’s council meeting and assumes the job immediately.
Lindquist said his top priority is ensuring that Pierce County lives up to a reputation for “putting away the bad guys for long sentences.”
He also pledged to fight to make sure the county gets only its fair share of state prisoners, to reduce a backlog of felony cases and to “deliver the most bang for the taxpayer’s buck.”
“I am going to run an office that’s professional, nonpartisan and serves the public well,” Lindquist told the council Tuesday.
Because Horne is a Democrat, state law required the council to pick his successor from among nominees submitted by the local Democratic Party. Democrats also nominated Mary Robnett, supervisor of the Prosecuting Attorney Office’s special assault unit, and Pat Hammond, supervisor of the misdemeanor domestic violence unit.
But it’s been apparent since Horne announced his retirement in February that Lindquist was likely to get the job.
Robnett and Hammond – both Democratic Party precinct committee officers – supported Lindquist for the job. On Tuesday each informed the council they preferred not to be considered for the post.
The council appointed Lindquist to fill out the remainder of Horne’s term as prosecutor. The timing of Horne’s retirement allows Lindquist to get a head start on the 2010 election for the post.
Lindquist has been with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for 14 years. He served as chief of the drug unit from 2004 through 2008. Earlier this year Horne promoted him to chief criminal deputy.
As prosecutor, Lindquist will oversee a staff of about 230 employees and a budget of about $26 million. Lindquist, 50, lives in Tacoma with his wife, Chelsea.
David Wickert: 253-274-7341