As he heads out of the office this winter, outgoing Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller gives his advice from his 36 years on the job to the candidate and future elect.
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. — In the race between Eric Eisinger and Ryan Lukson for Benton County Prosecutor, we’re entering territory we haven’t seen in the county since the 80s. Prosecuting Attorney for the last 36 years for Benton County, Andy Miller is not up for reelection.
Miller is the longest tenured county employee, as well as the longest tenured prosecutor in the state of Washington. He announced his retirement in March.
Now, it’s Election Day. In under two months, someone will be taking over the office he’s held for nine elected terms in a row.
As Miller makes room for the next prosecutor, he sat down to share his advice.
To kick off advice to the prosecutor elect, Miller said relationships with law enforcement should be a key factor in deciding who you vote for in the position.
“I think you should take a look at who the elected sheriffs are supporting, would be a good indication of what prosecutor candidate is going to have that good relationship with law enforcement,” said Miller.
The Prosecutor’s Office is in the Benton County Justice Center, just across the building from the Sheriff’s Office.
“I actually think that county has the best relationship between prosecutors and law enforcement agencies of any county in the state,” Miller said.
Not only does he say the county has a good relationship with local law enforcement, but he also said he’s proud of the work to prosecute crimes other counties haven’t put priority on.
“We actually aggressively prosecute property crimes, car thefts. A lot of counties in the state have essentially stopped doing that and law enforcement stopped investigating those cases,” said Miller.
The county needs to take low level offenses as seriously as high level offenses, he said, from murder cases, to burglaries to family thefts. That’s where Benton County thrives, he said.
But the advice he gave goes beyond the relationships and priorities of cases.
“First of all, I think you have to work hard. Second of all, I think you need to listen to people. Do more listening than talking,” he said.
With more than 25 deputy prosecutors in Benton County, and all of the communication between departments to have a successful prosecution, the role isn’t a one-man job. He’s wishing luck to the upcoming prosecutor elect.
Miller is celebrating his last day as the Benton County Prosecuting Attorney on Dec. 31.
Find election updates for Benton County Prosecuting Attorney here.
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