VIDEO: West Seattleite Leesa Manion makes history in taking oath of office as King County Prosecuting Attorney

(WSB photos/video)

After 22 years at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, West Seattle resident Leesa Manion is its leader. She took the oath of office in a courthouse ceremony this afternoon, two months after she was elected with 58 percent of the vote. Manion makes triple history in ascending to the role – as the first woman and first person of color to serve as King County Prosecuting Attorney, and as the first Korean American elected to this type of job anywhere in the U.S. She was introduced by Ann Davison, who made history last year by becoming Seattle’s first female City Attorney:

Davison said their offices would work closely together and that both needed to address the root causes of crime as well as accountability for those who commit it. Manion then spoke before her oath was administered by King County Superior Court Judge Sandra Widlan (the oath is 24:15 into the video):

Manion, who previously served as the office’s Chief of Staff, received two standing ovations during her speech. She warned those expecting major announcements that this was an occasion for celebration – her policy announcements would come later, before the end of this month. Today, she offered words of gratitude and pride, for people from the other women of KCPAO, to her family, including her two children. And in calling for partnership with law enforcement, she gave a shoutout to her partner Perry Tarrant, a former Seattle Police assistant chief, who came forward with a surprise bouquet:

Manion also spoke vehemently about the importance of representation, and about the support and encouragement she has received from the Asian American and Korean American communities. The latter included an out-of-town visitor who spoke last at the ceremony, Jerry Baik, an assistant city attorney in Los Angeles who is also executive director of the international Korean Prosecutors Association:

Baik, whose organization has members in nine nations, hailed Manion as a role model and presented her with a plaque honoring her historic election. “I would not miss this moment for anything,” he told Manion.

Though, as noted, she said policy announcements will come later, she mentioned one gargantuan task she must address, saying the KCPAO has a “backlog of 4,000 charged cases” and saying it would take innovation to deal with that.

She invited those listening – including a crowd that included another West Seattle-residing elected official, County Executive Dow Constantine – to “join me on this journey … (to) build a modern, thoughtful, effective legal system.” Manion succeeds Dan Satterberg, who served as King County Prosecuting Attorney for almost 16 years.

13 Replies to "VIDEO: West Seattleite Leesa Manion makes history in taking oath of office as King County Prosecuting Attorney"

  • James January 9, 2023 (10:04 pm)

    So glad Leesa won!!! 

  • Sue January 9, 2023 (10:35 pm)

    I’m happy that Ms. Manion is our new King County Prosecuting Attorney. However, I thought Ms. Davison’s speech was amateurish (I’m not claiming I can do better; but, as City Attorney,  Ms. Davison should be able to).  Seems like 80 percent of her talk was about Ms. Manion being a woman and a person of color. Yes, we need more women and persons of color in high office, but let’s focus on Ms. Manion’s impressive qualifications and accomplishments. That’s why I voted for her, not because she’s a woman and bi-racial. 

    • Mel January 10, 2023 (6:24 am)

      Most of this article (and every other) about her is in regards to her heritage and not her accomplishments. Not saying that’s right but Davison is no different than any other person or news org talking about her.

  • Marcus January 9, 2023 (11:38 pm)

    Backlog of 4000 cases?  That is a huge effort!  Time to get started.

  • jane January 10, 2023 (9:04 am)

    Farrell was a far better option. I wish he had been elected. Leesa blocked my mom on Instagram after she left one comment stating that she would be voting for Farrell. If you won’t even listen to your community then how can you effectively work for them?

    • reed January 10, 2023 (1:17 pm)

      Did your mom ask a policy question to help her decide how she was going to vote, or simply state that she was voting for Farrell? If it was the later, your mom sound like a common internet troll.

      • jane January 11, 2023 (11:24 am)

        My mom is a very well informed West Seattle citizen and a former Professor. She is a well educated lifelong liberal Democrat who moved to Seattle from NYC 20 years ago specifically because she wanted a more progressive city. She is NOT an internet troll by any definition. That is what made her being blocked for one very simple comment so unsettling. Literally, all she did was express that for the first time ever she would be voting for the more moderate candidate because of her concern over Seattle crime & open air drug use. It’s rude and assumptive comments like yours that are creating an ever widening divide in this country. We need to be able to listen to and hear differing thoughts and opinions without immediately blocking or cancelling people. That is no way to move forward.

        • reed January 11, 2023 (3:29 pm)

          Again, did your well informed, well educated mom stated that she wasn’t voting for Manion because her concern over Seattle crime and open air drug use? If not, then its being a troll. You can’t listen to and hear different thoughts and opinions if they aren’t stated. Professor No Context should learn to use her words. 

    • WestSeattleBadTakes January 10, 2023 (1:24 pm)

      It is hard to believe this is a real comment, but here we are.

    • Wsresident January 10, 2023 (9:39 pm)

      Jane, That’s just dumb. I would’ve blocked her, too. I mean, it doesn’t sound like a very constructive conversation. 🤣 it’s also alarming that your mom even knew that she was blocked by someone.  Your mom should really put the phone down. Trollllllling. 

  • wscommuter January 10, 2023 (9:44 am)

    Although I did not vote for her, I wish Ms. Mannion success.  I remain concerned that for the first time in 50+ years, we have an elected prosecutor who has essentially no criminal trial experience.  That experience matters in understanding charging decisions/prosecution emphases …  and it especially matters to the rank and file in KCPO that the boss understands what it takes to take a case to trial.  It may well be that Ms. Mannion’s administrative background will serve her well and that KCPO will improve.  I hope so.  Morale there has been at a nadir in recent years between budget cuts and the impact of Covid on the criminal justice system and the de-emphasis on straightforward prosecution of certain crimes.  Time will tell if things improve.   Good luck to her.

  • Millie January 10, 2023 (1:43 pm)

    Thank you WS Commuter for your succinct comments.  Couldn’t agree with you more!

  • ltfd January 11, 2023 (8:26 pm)

    Focusing on form over function. Too bad.

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