New district attorney sworn in during courthouse ceremony

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer March 03, 2014 01:44 pm

Union County Judge Russ West, right, swears in new district attorney Kelsie McDaniel Friday. McDaniel has served as deputy DA in Union County since June 2010 and she takes over for the retiring Tim Thompson. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Union County Judge Russ West, right, swears in new district attorney Kelsie McDaniel Friday. McDaniel has served as deputy DA in Union County since June 2010 and she takes over for the retiring Tim Thompson. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Kelsie McDaniel takes office in Union County 

A deputy district attorney is now the Union County District Attorney.

Kelsie McDaniel was sworn into her new office Friday afternoon in the third floor courtroom.

Judge Russ West, who performed the ceremony, recalled his own swearing in as DA.

“I stood in your shoes back in 1985 when I was 31 years old,” he told McDaniel. “You come from a strong office.”

West told McDaniel that she has an opportunity to do a lot of good for the community and for victims in her new position.

“Use your power wisely,” he said.

Outgoing DA Tim Thompson said he believes McDaniel will follow suit in a long line of successful DAs. Thompson told McDaniel she may not have a personal or family life for a while.

“You’ll read about yourself in the press. Have fun,” he said, laughing.

McDaniel has served as deputy DA in Union County since June 2010. She hold a bachelor’s from the University of Washington and her juris doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law. Prior to coming to Union County, McDaniel worked in the Morrow County District Attorney’s Office. She has served on the board of the Mt. Emily Safe Center, volunteered with the Classroom Law Project and the Oregon State Bar New Lawyer Mentoring Program Committee and has presented to various community groups, including the La Grande Police Youth Public Safety Academy and the Center for Human Development.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity and look forward to this new chapter,” McDaniel said following her swearing in.

Contact Kelly Ducote at 541-786-4230 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Kelly on Twitter @lgoDucote.