Fight erupts over Boger’s criminal law background

In his newly launched political website, Brent Boger describes himself as “having the experience we need.” He lists his criminal law background first.

“Brent Boger for Clark County prosecutor: Tough on crime. Committed to our rights,” his slogan reads.

That seems a bit of a reach, opponent Tony Golik said, given that nearly all of Boger’s experience has been in civil law.

Boger, an assistant Vancouver city attorney, handles land-use and financial law. He said he’s filled in handling arraignments in Clark County District Court for a total of four or five months.

He concedes he’s never taken a criminal case to trial, though, and doesn’t have experience with felony crimes. Golik, a 17-year criminal prosecutor who currently prosecutes major crimes for Clark County, says that experience is imperative for a prosecuting attorney who would supervise 39 criminal deputy prosecutors. In contrast, the position oversees just seven civil deputy prosecutors.

“You’re responsible for the outcome of every criminal case in the county,” Golik said. “You have to effectively lead the prosecutors. They have to know that you know what you’re doing.”

Boger and his campaign spokesman, Alex Hays, insist they haven’t overstated Boger’s experience with criminal law.

“We think it’s accurately described: Brent has criminal experience,” Hays said. “We’ve explained that.”

Boger added in an e-mail that he’s the only candidate with a diverse legal background. In 11 years with the city, he’s handled land use issues, environmental law, finance, real estate and elections.

“At least I put my toe in the criminal field,” Boger said. As for Golik’s qualifications, he added, “I don’t think he’s put his toe in anything else.”

Laura McVicker

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