Appel sworn in as Superior Court judge

EVERETT — Former Snohomish County deputy prosecutor George Appel fulfilled a doctor’s prediction made 43 years ago.

“This one’s going to be a judge,” the physician told Appel’s mother as he delivered the boy.

Appel, 43, of Marysville was sworn in Wednesday as the newest Snohomish County Superior Court judge. Voters in November elected him to replace Judge Richard Thorpe, who retires this week.

Appel leaves the Snoho­mish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where he’s worked for more than 15 years.

His former boss, Prosecutor Janice Ellis, told a crowded courtroom Wednesday that she believes Appel will make an excellent judge who will serve the county well.

“George is a genuine and wonderful person — wonderful in the Hallmark card sense,” Ellis said.

In his years with the prosecutor’s office, he could be counted on to be calm, polite, resolute and kind to everyone, she said.

Ellis said she has no doubt that Appel will carry those traits with him to his new job, and also will ask the same of the lawyers who stand before him.

“He’s going to expect fair play,” Ellis said. “I think that’s a really good thing.”

She presented Appel a gift, saying he would no longer be playing offense for her team. Appel accepted a referee shirt and whistle with a smile.

Evergreen District Court Judge Stephen Clough complimented Appel for a clean campaign. He also offered him some advice about balancing the pressures of the job with responsibilities to his family. Clough told Appel to remember to set aside time for his wife and his two boys.

Retired Superior Court Judge Paul Hansen administered the oath to Appel. Appel’s wife, Hoa, helped him put on the black robe.

Appel thanked his family, his supporters and the voters who elected him. He said he is proud to be part of a group of men and women who he has admired.

Appel said he’d like to look back at his career in 30 years and be able to say one thing: “I would like to be able to say that I served the citizens of Snohomish County and the state of Washington and I did my best.”

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