Boger pushing appeal of 2008 trial as campaign issue

In the final days before the election, prosecuting attorney candidate Brent Boger has campaigned extensively on one topic: murder-for-hire convict Dino Constance’s allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against Tony Golik.

The Republican party has sent several e-mails to The Columbian, pressing the newspaper to report on the pending appeal. Boger has issued a press release, asking opponent Golik to respond.

The appeal alleges Golik did not disclose criminal histories of four witnesses and didn’t disclose preferential treatment of another witness in exchange for testimony during the 2008 trial. The case has not even been heard by a judge yet.

“Votes are being cast and the close of voting is a week away and Mr. Golik still has not responded to the specific allegations of misconduct against him despite having multiple opportunities,” Boger said in the press release.

Well, here’s what Golik says:

–Constance has already unsuccessfully appealed his case twice before and never brought these things up before. He’s now hired his fifth lawyer for his latest attempt.

–The 15-year veteran deputy prosecutor has never had a criminal case overturned on appeal, though all the defendants in cases he’s taken to trial have sought appeal.

–When there’s a hearing on the matter, Golik’s prepared to show documentation and call prosecutor’s office’s support staff members to testify, disproving all the allegations.

At trial, jurors heard that Constance was caught on tape soliciting several men to kill or seriously injure his wife.

“This is a case where we actually prevented someone from getting killed,” Golik said. “I see my opponent in engaging in very desperate, negative campaign tactics on a very important case.”

Boger said he thinks it’s irrevelant that Golik has never lost a case on appeal.

“After thinking about it some, I think Tony’s talking about never being reversed on appeal is a distraction of the issues in the specific Constance case,” Boger said in an e-mail.

Boger, a Vancouver senior assistant city attorney who handles land-use issues, and Golik, a major crimes deputy prosecutor, are in a heated battle to be the next prosecuting attorney.

And if Boger wants to talk record, Golik said, voters can be reminded that Boger has never taken a case to trial in Washington and has virtually no criminal law experience, besides filling in on misdemeanor arraignments for a few months once.

A judge will schedule a hearing on the Constance matter at the Nov. 17 criminal docket.

–Laura McVicker

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