Acting Clallam County prosecuting attorney to resign

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — Clallam County acting Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols submitted his notice of resignation to the Board of County Commissioners today (Friday).

Nichols, 42, served as chief deputy prosecuting attorney from 2006 to last Dec. 31.

He became the acting prosecutor when former Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Kelly retired at year’s end.

Nichols said he will leave the prosecuting attorney’s office when appointed county prosecutor William Payne takes the oath of office Jan. 27.

Nichols told the Peninsula Daily News Friday that he decided to resign “out of respect for Mr. Payne and his administration as prosecutor in 2014.”

County commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to select Payne from a field of three candidates, which included Nichols, to fill the last year on Kelly’s term.

Commissioners Mike Doherty and Jim McEntire voted for Payne. Commissioner Mike Chapman voted against the nomination, lending full support to Nichols.

Payne has said he intends to run for county prosecutor in November.

Nichols said he is “strongly considering” his own run for county prosecutor.

Since Payne and Nichols are both Republicans, they would face off in the August primary for a chance to advance to the general election.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Clallam County over the last nine years as a member of Ms. Kelly’s administration,” Nichols wrote in his notice of resignation.

“My work in the criminal courts as well as in the civil arena has proven to be both personally fulfilling as well as professionally rewarding.

“Equally rewarding to the job have been the people that I have worked with and met.”

Nichols continued: “I am proud to leave behind a Prosecuting Attorney’s Office staffed with dedicated and competent public servants.

“These employees are directly responsible for the administration of justice in the county.

“I would urge you to treat them well, recognizing that they are one of your greatest assets.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at

Last modified: January 17. 2014 5:19PM
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