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This is of great concern. Ms. Black also represents criminal defendants (though not in this case), so even if the contract is legal and there is supervision by Mr. McHugh, it seems bad judgment to hire a person who is a criminal defense attorney with access to child protection files, and other material through her practice to prosecute cases on behalf of the state. Which side is she on? Also, if Ms. Black previously investigated the matter and did not file charges or find wrong doing, why bring her back to prosecute a case she obviously didn´t believe in the first time? Also, arent there some lawyers in Coeur d´Alene with more trial experience and more legal experience than Ms. Black´s 7 years? Is there really no person in the proseucting attorney´s office that is capable of performing the job they are already paid for? There must be a way to find a more appropriate person to fill the supposed needs of the prosecuting attorney´s office.
Six opinions from the appellate courts finding misconduct in the prosecuting attorney´s office: State v. Ellington, State v. Perry, State v. Phillips, State v. Beebe, State v. Kuhn, State v. Sheahan. Interestingly, Mr. Verharen worked for Bill Douglas when the misconduct in the Ellington case occured, but then he left the office. Mr. McHugh hired Mr. Verharen back. Unanswered question: how could Mr. Verharen not know that Officer Rice lied or would lie on the stand when Mr. Verharen called him to testify? Can we look forward to further lies and misconduct during the retrial? Wouldnt it be better to have another deputy prosecutor handle the case on retrial?
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