September 30, 2002 11:00 pm

Applications are being accepted from attorneys who would like to be Union County's new district attorney.

The governor's office, which will name a replacement to finish out Russ West's term, is accepting applications until Oct. 11.

West will be sworn in as the 10th Judicial District's newest judge in January, filling the vacancy created when Judge Eric Valentine announced his retirement at the end of the year.

Application forms for the district attorney's job are available from Lorna Hobbs of the Governor's Legal Counsel's Office, 503-378-6246. Applicants must be already admitted to practice in Oregon, and meet other criteria described in the Interest Form for Judicial Appointments. The form is also available on the Internet, at

"Gov. (John) Kitzhaber has the authority to make an appointment, but he has to do it before Jan. 13, when his term expires," Danny Santos of the governor's legal counsel office said.

To make an appointment to fill West's position, the governor's two legal advisers, along with a third attorney chosen from outside Union County, would put out notices through the Oregon State Bar Association, the state's association of district attorneys and other methods seeking individuals interested in applying for the post.

The applicants — who have to be active members in good standing with the Oregon Bar, but not necessarily Oregon residents — send applications to the governor's office by Oct. 11.

The governor's legal counsel and the third member of the selection committee will then pass on two or three names from which the governor can make an appointment.

The person appointed as Union County district attorney would then complete the remaining two years of West's term before needing to run for election.

West was elected to the bench for Union and Wallowa counties May 21 after capturing more than 50 percent of the vote over candidates Bruce Anderson and Kippy Roberson.

— T.L. Petersen