The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles
Editor 

Prosecutor travel costs in question

 


Klickitat County Prosecuting Attorney Lori Hoctor spent close to $23,000 of county money for travel in 2013, reimbursing the county for only $4,275, according to county public records.

By comparison, the sum spent by County Commissioner David Sauter being heatedly cited by critics as unacceptable was $3,200.

A Goldendale resident obtained the public records and submitted them to The Sentinel with a letter to the editor, which appears in this week's issue.

Hoctor budgeted her county travel expenses at

$8,481 for 2013. Her total travel for the year was $22,978.

In 2014, Hoctor has already spent $9,837 on travel between Jan. 1 and July 22.

Included among her expenses for 2013 was $504 for valet parking. Much of Hoctor's travel was to Seattle, where she frequented the Grand Hyatt with rooms ranging between $172 and $378 per night.

The rest of the Prosecutor's staff spent $334 in 2013 for training and coroner trips.

Hoctor responded to The Sentinel by email, saying "while my travel expenses have increased in 2013 and 2014, the expenses for my deputies and staff is substantially reduced." Hoctor said that it allows her to better train and oversee her deputies and staff.

Hoctor said that she stays at the Grand Hyatt for meetings associated with her appointment on the Forensic Investigation Council. "Substantially all of the hotel and parking expense is reimbursed by the Council," said Hoctor.

In addition, Hoctor noted that she is also on the Judicial Selection Committee, which meets whenever there are judicial openings to be filled by appointment. "Travel expenses for this committee are not reimbursed, but my ability to help influence who is chosen for these crucial positions undeniably benefits our County and its citizens," said Hoctor.

The Prosecutor also defended her attendance at trainings, saying "In 2013 I attended a variety of trainings in civil law and litigation, as my office took over more of the previously-outsourced civil matters."

Hoctor also listed training in dealing with changes in the law concerning powers granted to Native American tribes led to participation in the Indian Law Symposium; multiple trainings related to the passage of I-502 and "green DUI;" and a "stop grant" training concerning domestic violence to keep victim/witness grants.

Hoctor also attended coroner training and meetings of the Washington Association of Medical Examiners (WACME) dealing with disaster preparedness, homicides and an annual 40 hour training session.

She said she also attended trainings on sex offenders, domestic violence prosecution, and training by the Federal Bar Association and the Prosecuting Attorney Association.

 

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