Legal Ethics

More Sex Issues for WA Prosecutor

Originally accused of having an affair with the mother of a 17-year-old arson defendant and using the relationship to get confidential defense information a Washington state prosecutor is now facing additional professional issues.

Liam Michael Golden’s sexual conduct reportedly may have been intermingled with his office’s handling of as many as three cases for which he is responsible as Lewis County prosecutor, prompting both an ethics complaint to the Washington State Bar Association and a call for a criminal investigation, reports the Associated Press. Golden ran unopposed for the prosecutor position last November.

The affair with the arson defendant’s mom that prompted the intitial outcry was detailed in an earlier post. It appears to involve the most serious allegations against the divorced father of two.

In an affidavit, Kristine Wallace filed photos of alleged text messages from Golden’s cell phone, including one stating “This was not taken lightly and he is lucky to avoid adult court,” reports AP. Her son pleaded guilty, apparently before his lawyer knew about his mother’s relationship with Golden, but the boy hasn’t yet been sentenced.

Golden himself reportedly admitted the sexual relationship with Wallace, but said it ended when Wallace’s son was arrested and that he disclosed the relationship to his chief criminal deputy.

Nonetheless, if Wallace is accurately describing her relationship with Golden, “That’s way inappropriate,” John Strait, a Seattle University Law School professor, tells AP. “One, he’s giving legal advice to someone he doesn’t represent. And if he’s using her as a conduit to get to the defense, that’s major misconduct.”

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