Prosecuting Attorney

Responsibilities of the Prosecuting Attorney

ChaptPA LOGO FINAL Opens in new windower 36.27 RCW sets forth the duties of prosecuting attorneys in the State of Washington. Each of Washington’s 39 counties has an elected prosecuting attorney who is charged with representing their respective counties in all civil, criminal, administrative, and advisory matters, and the State of Washington in all criminal matters occurring in their respective counties. In some counties, including Columbia County, the Prosecuting Attorney represents the State of Washington in certain child support enforcement matters in which the State has an interest. RCW 36.27.020 sets forth the enumerated duties of a prosecuting attorney.

The Columbia County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is the County's law firm. It serves as legal counsel to the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement personnel operating in Columbia County, all County elected officials, independent boards and commissions and some special districts, and the Superior and District Courts. The Office litigates cases on behalf of and in defense of its clients, provides legal advice and assistance on all legal questions and projects, and issues formal written legal opinions when requested.

Additionally, the Prosecuting Attorney in Columbia County currently serves as Ex-Officio Coroner.

About C. Dale Slack, Columbia County Prosecuting Attorney

1619631597321I was born in Pullman, Washington and grew up in and around the farming country of Canyon County, Idaho. I attended public schools for my K-12 education. I attended Boise State University for my undergraduate education where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science (Public Administration emphasis), and a history minor; I then attended the University of Idaho College of Law, earning my Juris Doctor in 2006. I was admitted to the Washington State Bar in November of 2006, and practiced with a private firm in Walla Walla for four years, during which time I worked as a contracted public defender for Columbia County; I opened my own office on Main Street in Dayton in 2011, continuing my public defense work in Asotin, Garfield, Columbia, and Walla Walla counties, College Place Municipal Court, as a contractor for the Office of Public Defense in child welfare dependency proceedings, and for a short time representing individuals committed to the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. In 2015, I joined the Columbia County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a Deputy Prosecutor, until 2018 when I ran for the elected position of Prosecuting Attorney. I have practiced before all levels of the Washington State courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Nez Perce Tribal Court in a variety of cases ranging from speeding tickets to murder.

I am proud to represent this great county and to work hard to preserve the peace, safety, and pastoral lifestyle that we all enjoy as citizens of Columbia County.

Division of Cases

To help you determine which attorney you need to contact regarding a case or issue, the three attorneys in our office are assigned to the following duties:

C. Dale Slack - Prosecuting Attorney

  • All civil matters and issues, advising and opinions;
  • Civil appeals;
  • Criminal advising and opinions;
  • Major and high-profile criminal cases;
  • Collection of legal financial obligations;
  • Child support enforcement;
  • Office administration and management;
  • Ex-Officio Coroner.

Jennine Christensen - Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

  • Felony prosecution;
  • Juvenile Court;
  • Criminal advising and opinions;
  • Deputy ex-officio Coroner.

OPEN - Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

  • District court misdemeanor and gross-misdemeanor prosecution;
  • Criminal advising and opinions;
  • Criminal appeals.

Victim/Witness Services

Thanks to two grants from the State of Washington Department of Commerce and the United States, our office is able to offer advocacy, services, and limited financial aid to victims of crimes, and witnesses who are negatively impacted by having witnessed a crime and provided evidence. Rebecca Coaly is our office's Victim Advocate. Services and aid are available to victims and impacted witnesses regardless of whether or not charges are filed, and is not dependent on the victim's or witness's cooperation in the prosecution of the crime.