Grant County appoints new judge for district

May 2, 2013 

— A third Grant County District Court judge was appointed this week.

Grant County Deputy Prosecutor Tyson Hill, 33, of Moses Lake, was selected as the newest district court judge by a review committee comprised of fellow district court judge Janis Whitener-Moberg, county prosecutor Angus Lee, county human resources director Tammie Hechler, county clerk Kimberly Allen, former Moses Lake Police Chief Dean Mitchell, Moses Lake attorneys Brett Hill and Jeremy Huberdeau, Big Bend Community College president Terry Leas and Jerry Moberg, lead counsel for the county’s insurance pool administrator.

County Commissioner Richard Stevens said all three finalists were good candidates, but Hill was the best fit for the job because of his substantial criminal trial experience. Hill has worked as a deputy prosecutor for Grant County since 2009.

The three finalists were rated on several attributes, including civil and criminal trial experience, legal acumen, work ethic and leadership ability.

Stevens expects Hill to being his judicial duties around July or August in the renovated courtroom at the district court office on Wheeler Road in Moses Lake.

County commissioners Stevens, Cindy Carter and Carolann Swartz thought funding a third judge was important because of the increasing number of district court cases. Grant County’s two district court judges and court commissioner process more than 30,000 cases a year.

Hill joins Rich Fitterer and Whitener-Moberg on the bench. Hill will serve until the 2014 general election.

His salary will be $141,710 annually.

Before joining the Grant County Prosecutor’s Office, Hill served as a law clerk for state Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson for one year.

Hill graduated from Brigham Young University and attended law schools at Seattle University and the University of Washington.

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