Incoming District Attorney Jason Woodbury says there are a lot of things the office has been doing right but that he believes there are improvements to be made.
He said the two key assistants he is hiring will help him do just that.
Kristin Luis, who will handle the criminal side of the effort, served in the office more than 10 years before she was appointed juvenile master four years ago. Adriana Fralick, Woodbury’s chief civil appointee, has a history just as long in positions with the Attorney General’s office and her current job as secretary of the Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board. In the past, she also served the ethics commission and as Gov. Jim Gibbons’ legal counsel.
“I could not have picked two better people,” Woodbury said. “Their qualifications and how they relate to people, they get the most out of their people and they do it in the right way.”
Woodbury said much more will be firmed up once he takes office but that he and his two lieutenants are already looking closely at the operation.
“The objective is to improve the quality of work that comes out of the DA’s office,” Woodbury said. “I’m going to say that’s not necessarily easy because they’re doing good quality work now.”
One area he said that isn’t going away is the witness and victim services unit that was greatly enhanced under outgoing DA Neil Rombardo.
“We’re going to work to improve the operation of what’s there,” Woodbury said.
But he said there’s room to do better, improving relations with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office and with the district court and justice court judges.
On the civil side, Woodbury said things have been “managed very well.” He said retiring chief civil deputy Randy Munn “by all accounts he’s done a really good job for the city so I wouldn’t be looking to make drastic changes.”
Those statements contrast with his comments before the election in which he pointed to a lack of professionalism in the office, especially “bickering” between the DA’s staff and the public defender’s office.
On the civil side, Woodbury said there are major issues the city needs to confront and fix, the biggest of which is Clear Creek Road. That two-lane road runs parallel to Highway 50 up Spooner Summit, splitting the Carson City-Douglas County line. It has traditionally been a very rural area but increasing urban development has raised a number of questions that must be resolved, he said.
“I’m looking at the DA’s office to take the lead role in Clear Creek,” Woodbury said. “Something’s got to be done. The situation up there is deteriorating day-by-day.”
Overall, he said staffing is adequate for the office but that an investigator’s position now vacant nearly a year must be filled.
Woodbury said a key issue for him will fall to Fralick — ethics and the open meeting law.
“We want to make that a priority in the office, one of the most important functions we perform,” Woodbury said.
He said in an earlier interview that he had no real desire to be in politics but that, “it struck me Carson City could be better served.”