McKenna responds to Holmes and Khandelwal

This afternoon, Seattle Municipal Court Presiding Judge Ed McKenna replied to yesterday’s letter from City Attorney Pete Holmes and King county Director of Public Defense Anita Khandelwal.

In the letter, he says the following:

  • He declines their suggestion that he should step down as Presiding Judge, nothing that he has the continued support of his colleagues.
  • He said that the door is still open for them to attend bench/bar meetings.
  • He denies making a statement that he “feels bound to follow the prosecutor’s recommendation 99 percent of the time.”
  •  He denies violating the Canons of Judicial Conduct by inviting Markovich and Coats to his court and predetermining a sentence. He notes that both Markovich and Coats have denied being invited by him.
  •  He says that the other allegations are too vague for him to reply.
  • He obliquely accuses them of lying, reminding them that the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys states: “A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications, integrity or record of a judge.”

He concludes the letter by saying, “I intend no action and am not asking you for an apology. I simply ask that each of you initiate an effort to publicly correct your errors.”



  1. I’m not sure that the link to the original PDF version of McKenna’s letter is working. Usually, I can easily use that to download the original, and that includes Holmes’ letter, but today I can’t get to the McKenna letter.

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