For eight years, Craig Mingay was a staple in the Churchill County District Attorney’s Office.
Last Saturday, the 34-year-old Montana native packed his belongings and began the trek to Olympia, Wash., for the next chapter his in life and career. Mingay, who was the county’s civil attorney the past three years, was hired by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office as a deputy attorney general. His first five years in the DA’s office were spent in the criminal division.
In Washington, he will be part of a unit overseeing sex offenders. Washington state operates a civil commitment center for violent sexual predators, who, if still deemed a threat after their prison sentence, are housed in the center.
Washington is one of 20 states who operate centers for sex offenders, and Mingay’s facility is located on an island near Olympia.
He said part of the job is to represent the state in lawsuits filed by sex offenders against the center.
“It’s not a prison, so it’s a lot stricter on the state and how they treat them,” Mingay added. “We have to treat them different from how they would be treated in prison.”
The move, though, did not come as a shock to DA Art Mallory, who said he assisted Mingay in preparing with his resume and interview. Mingay applied in July, interviewed in August and accepted the job several weeks later.
Nevertheless, Mallory said it will be tough without Mingay, one of the brightest and kindest people in the office. Mallory was full of praise and said he was more than happy to help Mingay move on.
Filling Mingay’s role will be Senior Deputy DA Ben Shawcroft, Mallory said.
“He is very smart in dealing with any legal issue,” Mallory said. “He was outstanding working with our department heads.”
Mingay’s earned his undergraduate degree at Montana State University and moved on to McGeorge School of Law at the University of Pacific in Sacramento.
In 2004, he worked as a law clerk in Yerington and a year later Churchill County hired him.
Mingay was also involved with the community by providing free legal work for several nonprofits, Mallory said. In addition, Mingay was also a driving force to create Oasis Charter School.
“It was very painful to give a good recommendation,” Mallory joked. “We hire quality people and try to help them any way we can. We talked about his move for several months.”
Mingay said he and his wife, Carrie, decided on Washington as a compromise. The two met when Mingay was in law school and said his wife is more of a city person.
“I think the big thing was I married a big city girl,” he said.
Carrie Mingay and their three children left Fallon about two weeks ago so the Mingay children could begin school. Craig Mingay, though, stayed behind to wrap up work and pack and haul up the rest of the family’s belongings.
Olympia, though, acts a medium between the two families and makes travel easier for Craig Mingay to visit family in Montana and Carrie Mingay to hop down to Sacramento.
A bonus, though, is the close proximity to Seattle and all its offerings, especially professional sports, Mingay said. An avid Cincinnati Reds and Dallas Cowboys fan, Mingay can take a short drive to watch the pros play in addition to the abundance of outdoor activities in Washington, work permitting of course. A climb up Mount Rainier, though, is off the table, Mingay joked.
But what about the rain?
“I don’t know how I will handle the rain,” he said. “But I love the area.”