Amanda Benjamin best choice for circuit court judge

Since relocating here 20 years ago, I’ve looked to contribute the skills I learned running the first Special Victims Bureau in a New York City DA’s office. That’s why I became special prosecutor for sex crimes. Marcia Buckley took a different path to that same office — she became Rob Bovett’s campaign manager. He then made her his chief deputy, despite her gross inexperience as a trial prosecutor.

My efforts to compensate for Buckley’s deficiencies ended during the prosecution of one of Lincoln County’s most dangerous criminals. When Thomas Acosta’s victim, April Loper, tragically lost her life, Buckley attempted to dismiss the case behind my back, telling April’s family she had “no choice,” and telling Bovett it was “unethical” for me to prosecute Acosta. (The Supreme Court of Oregon disagreed.)

Despite Buckley, a jury convicted Acosta. After he was sentenced, I documented Buckley’s cowardice and ineptitude. Bovett suggested reducing her responsibilities — but not her title or salary. I resigned in protest, making my objections public. When the Oregonian gave Buckley the opportunity to respond, she refused “at this time.” That was seven years ago. We’re still waiting.

I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, but Buckley soon resigned. A few months later, so did Bovett. Buckley returned to private practice. Since then she has devoted her time to networking, gaining the kind of “credentials” that only come from favor-trading.

I didn’t hear Buckley’s name again until I was asked to comment on her application to be appointed as a judge. I told the investigator what I am telling you — that I cannot think of a worse choice. The state’s politician-in-chief did not listen. In January, Brown handed Buckley her unearned judgeship.

Brown tried this with Jonathan Cable, and the people spoke. It’s time for them to speak again. It is on us to elect a real judge, not yet another political appointee of a lame duck governor who knows nothing about our county and apparently cares even less.

We have another choice, an excellent choice. Given the facts, the only choice: Amanda Benjamin for circuit court judge, position 2.

Alice Vachss