In a recent Herald article (“Sheriff candidate passed over for seat on Human Rights Commission,” The Herald, Jan. 19), County Council Member Strom Peterson said ““I do have concerns with the process, and I think this gives us an opportunity to look a little more closely,” referring to the sheriff’s and council’s need to review their process.
The seat on the Snohomish County Human Rights Commission, reserved for a law enforcement officer, has gone vacant during Sheriff Adam Fortney’s tenure. Apparently, it was not a priority for the sheriff’s office or the council.
The county Human Rights Commission came up with their own candidate, July 2022, and submitted the name to the council for approval, but the seat remained vacant for four more months. When the county did respond, it accused the commission of playing politics presumably because the candidate, Susanna Johnson is running to replace the current sheriff. Susanna Johnson, a Bothell deputy police chief, is running for Snohomish County sheriff to restore community trust and safety in county law enforcement.
Serving on the Snohomish County Human Rights Commission is an excellent opportunity to work with the community on public safety. Johnson should be commended for putting service above politics: “I thought it would be a great opportunity. Ultimately, I didn’t get to serve,” Johnson said. “My understanding is the person they selected is qualified, and I think that’s the most important thing.”