Kolin's barbs against Golik fall short

George Kolin, a Washougal defense attorney vying for Clark County prosecuting attorney, has focused his relatively invisible campaign on throwing barbs at opponent Tony Golik.

The problem is the barbs haven’t carried much sting.

First, Kolin questioned whether Golik gave enough notice when he left his last job at the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office. He cited a letter from Golik to the Spokane Spokesman-Review announcing his resignation in light of the county’s budget woes. The letter came just days before Golik started as a deputy prosecutor in Clark County in 2000.

Golik’s response? It wasn’t a formal letter of resignation and he did, in fact, give adequate notice to his boss.

OK, case closed.

Now, Kolin has focused on Golik’s trial work, picking apart a comment the deputy prosecutor made during a 2006 murder trial.

In the trial of James Classen, charged with stabbing his wife numerous times with scissors, Golik argued for a murder conviction rather than a conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter because “manslaughter is an accident.”

The jury convicted Classen of first-degree murder. Later, Classen appealed the conviction. He argued that Golik mischaracterized the legal definition of manslaughter as “accidental” rather than “reckless”.

The Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, saying Golik’s statement didn’t show any wrongdoing and was harmless.

But Kolin persists in trying to make this a campaign issue.

Kolin himself was reprimanded in 2003 by the Washington State Bar Association for overcharging a client. Golik’s record with the state bar is clean.

–Laura McVicker

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