Everett’s first woman to serve as municipal court judge to retire

Judge Laura Van Slyck was elected in 2013 as the court’s first woman on the bench.

Everett Municipal Court Judge Laura Van Slyck

Everett Municipal Court Judge Laura Van Slyck

EVERETT — Everett Municipal Court Judge Laura Van Slyck, the first woman on the bench, plans to retire this summer.

Van Slyck was elected to the position in 2013, and she became the court’s first woman to hold the job since the city formed its own court in 1987.

Before that, she was an assistant city attorney and lead prosecutor for Everett. She handled criminal prosecution and public safety, and advised the Everett Police Department.

Prior to joining the city, she also was a public defender.

“I have worked in Everett my entire professional career,” Van Slyck said in a news release. “My family and I have enjoyed being members of this community and it has been a tremendous honor to serve as both a judicial officer and assistant city attorney.”

Van Slyck swore in the first female-majority Everett City Council this January.

As a municipal court judge, she helped oversee the Community Justice Alternatives Program, first established in 2013. The therapeutic court, for people facing non-felony criminal charges such as trespassing or shoplifting, gives participants the opportunity to have their charges dismissed.

That program is now called the Mental Health Alternatives Program.

Mayor Cassie Franklin called her an excellent lawyer and judge who was known for being fair and professional.

“She was universally respected by prosecutors and defense attorneys,” Franklin said in a statement. “We wish her well in her retirement!”

Now the mayor is looking for applicants to fill her position.

Applicants must be a registered voter, have lived in Everett at least one year, and be a Washington State Bar Association member. The mayor nominates a candidate to fill in a vacated term, and the Everett City Council confirms the appointment.

The position will be up for election to finish the four-year term in November 2023, unless there are three or more candidates requiring a primary runoff.

Two full-time elected judges serve the Everett Municipal Court and earn $190,120 annually.

Applicants can submit a letter of interest, resume and a list of references to the Mayor’s Office, 2930 Wetmore Ave. Ste. 10-A, Everett, WA 98201. They are due April 20.

Ben Watanabe: bwatanabe@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.

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