From hospital bed, judge campaigns for Golik

Even after suffering a fall and being hospitalized this week, retired Superior Court Judge Robert Harris still made time to campaign for Tony Golik.

The former longest-running judge in Washington sent a letter from his hospital bed to The Columbian endorsing Golik, a deputy prosecutor who’s running to succeed Prosecuting Attorney Art Curtis.

In his letter, Harris, 75, said: “I’m familiar with prosecutors and attorneys all over this state, and what it takes to lead as a prosecutor. I’m also personally familiar with Golik’s superior courtroom abilities, integrity with the judiciary, protection of victims and possessing the skills necessary to be our prosecutor.”

Harris, who became a judge in 1979, retired last December in accordance with the state’s mandatory retirement age of 75 for judges.

After retirement, he presided last spring as a pro tem judge over the trial of Michael Hersh, a convicted felon linked by DNA evidence to the 1978 murder of a Vancouver woman. Golik tried and won that case in front of the judge.

“I’m extremely honored,” Golik said. “It was the highlight of my career to try his last case as a sitting Superior Court judge.”

Harris also said in his letter that Golik’s opponent, Vancouver Senior Assistant Attorney Brent Boger, is not qualified.

“His opponent has not demonstrated any of those skills in the courts of Clark County necessary to lead in that position,” Harris said.

Here’s what Boger said in an e-mail response:

“With all due respect to Judge Harris, I don’t think he knows my legal work well enough to know my qualifications. I only recall being before him once when he ruled in my favor. I’ve practiced in dozens of courtrooms outside of Clark County from Seattle to San Diego.

Judge Harris actually appeared before the planning commission when I was providing it legal advice and he was arguing a plainly wrong legal argument.

That’s probably all he knows about my legal experience. I don’t know how you can call me unqualified from that.”

–Laura McVicker

Scroll to top