Legal Ethics

Did Affair With Mom Help Prosecute Son?

A prosecutor in Washington state has been accused of gaining information through an affair with the mother of an arson defendant to help prosecute her 17-year-old son.

Lewis County Prosecutor Michael Golden reportedly admits he had a relationship with Kristine Wallace, but denies any wrongdoing, saying that the relationship ended when her son, Zachary Hughes, was arrested, according to the Associated Press.

However, Wallace contends, in court filings made by her son’s defense lawyer, Jonathan Meyer, that she had detailed conversations with Golden about her son’s case. As AP puts it, Wallace also said “she shared information with Golden about conversations she had with her son’s attorney and had text-message conversations with Golden after court appearances.”

Meyer has filed petitions to dismiss the case and to disqualify the county from prosecuting it. “I was shocked,” he says of the allegations. “This is the first time I’ve heard of something like this.”

Meanwhile, another AP story reports that Golden has been accused by a different attorney, in a separate incident, of having a relationship that he failed to disclose with the mother of an alleged assault victim. Golden reportedly prosecuted the convicted offender for failing to register. The accusing attorney, Don Blair, was his opponent in last year’s election for the county prosecutor post.

Golden says that this second accusation is baseless.

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