City Council reappoints Municipal Court judge
December 21, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 21, 2009
Judge N. Scott Stewart will serve another four years as the sole Issaquah Municipal Court judge, the City Council decided Dec. 7.
Stewart was first appointed to the Issaquah bench in 2007, when then-Judge Peter Jarvis retired. With the four-year municipal judge term set to expire Dec. 31, the council reappointed Stewart through 2013.
The court presides over misdemeanors — such as DUI cases — as well as parking and traffic infractions that occur in Issaquah. In the years since the court opened in 2005, criminal filings increased by 117 percent and the caseload ballooned by 209 percent, city documents state.
Stewart and court employees will face another full docket in 2010. The council set a goal for the court to open a probation department to track high-risk offenders and cut recidivism — reversion to criminal behavior — among defendants next year.
City Council members also want court officials to draft procedures related to red light and speed cameras. In March, crews installed the first Issaquah speed camera in the busy Second Avenue school zone.
The city will spend about $80,000 on salary and benefits for Stewart, money already included in the recommended 2010 court budget. Mayor Ava Frisinger recommended $330,994 for the court, and the council is expected to adopt the spending plan Dec. 21.
Stewart was admitted to the Washington State Bar Association in 1988. He served as the Tukwila court commissioner from 1995-1998. Stewart also served as a pro tem judge in the Des Moines, Renton, Kirkland and Mercer Island municipal courts, as well as King County District Court.
He is a partner in the Kent law firm Stewart, Beall, MacNichols & Harmell. Stewart also teaches courses about family law and civil practice as an adjunct professor for the Central Washington University Westside Campus.