Gehlsen named new Bothell judge

Bothell City Council has affirmed the appointment of Michelle Gehlsen as presiding judge of Bothell Municipal Court.

Gehlsen first was recommended by City Manager Bob Stowe, then confirmed by a vote of council Nov. 17. She will take the bench Jan. 1, 2010. A public swearing in and greeting ceremony is slated for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Bothell Municipal Court, 10116 N.E. 183rd St.

The Bothell resident was selected from a pool of 37 applicants following a four-month selection process that, according to the city manager’s office, included the work of 11 interviewers and screeners.

Gehlsen comes to Bothell from the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where she worked as deputy prosecuting attorney

for seven years.

Gehlsen also served for the last two years as judge pro tempore at the Marysville Municipal Court.

Gehlsen served as prosecutor for more than 35 jury trials and prevailed in over 200 bench trials. She is credited with having established a pilot program to improve the handling of domestic-violence cases to assure victims were not re-victimized by the process of prosecution.

According to the city, Gehlsen also became the county’s expert on the Involuntary Treatment Act. Her work in involuntary commitment hearings required not only a comprehensive understanding of mental health legislation, but the ability to absorb and understand medical opinions from decades of respondent issues.

Gehlsen attended Southern Methodist University Law School in Dallas, Texas, where she won at least a duo of special honors. She also earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Texas State University, graduating cum laude.

Bothell’s population and caseload volume do not require the city to have an elected judge, and the city manager is required by state law to appoint a municipal judge every four years. Gehlsen replaces Judge John Rudsen, who served for three terms.

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