County council appoints attorney Chad Sleight as newest District Court judge

VANCOUVER — The Board of County Councilors Tuesday appointed attorney Chad E. Sleight to the Clark County District Court bench.

Sleight was one of four candidates the council interviewed for the court’s Position 2, which will become vacant March 1 when Judge James P. Swanger retires. Sleight will have to run for election in November 2018 to keep the seat.

CHAD SLEIGHT. Photo courtesy of Clark County Bar Association
CHAD SLEIGHT. Photo courtesy of Clark County Bar Association

“Chad is very connected to the people in front of him and accepting of change in the future,” Councilor Marc Boldt said as the council discussed a motion to appoint Sleight. “He’s passionate, and knows a good deal about the therapeutic courts and is accepting that there may be change even with that.”

Sleight was selected over three other finalists — District Court Commissioner Kristen Parcher, retired Superior Court Judge Roger Bennett and Assistant Vancouver City Attorney Brent Boger.

Citing Sleight’s varied courtroom experience and passion for the law, the council voted unanimously to appoint him to succeed Judge Swanger.

A Camas resident, Sleight has served as a pro tem judge in District Court for the past four years. Practicing since 2002, Sleight has worked primarily in criminal law, both as a defense attorney and prosecutor for Battle Ground, Ridgefield and La Center. He was elected president of the 472-member Clark County Bar Association in 2016.

Sleight earned his law degree at Willamette University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in political science at Western Washington University.

Judge Swanger will retire after 16 years on the District Court bench. Previously, he served as a District Court commissioner, judge pro-tem in Clark County Superior Court and Battle Ground Municipal Court, a deputy prosecuting attorney and an attorney in private practice.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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