County has a chief DDA again
After nearly a decade without having a second in command, Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry announced last week the promotion of a familiar face to fill the job.
Berry appointed Katheryn Lynch, who has worked as a deputy district attorney for the past seven years, to the position of chief deputy district attorney.
"Ms. Lynch was selected after a rigorous interview process, which included members of the county's criminal justice team and citizens from Newberg and McMinnville," Berry said.
Lynch will fill the position last held by Cynthia Easterday, now a Yamhill County Circuit Court judge. As the chief DDA is a management position, she will be the lead prosecutor when the district attorney is unavailable, Berry said, adding "the responsibilities are varied, as with any management position, but includes dealing with personnel, (as) lead on training and supervision, and the like."
Lynch, 45, who earned her law degree from Lewis & Clark College, has been a DDA in Yamhill County since December 2008. Prior to that she worked as a victim advocate and a probation and parole officer.
In a press release, Berry said Lynch began her legal career in the county as a misdemeanor prosecutor and moved up to "handling all types of the most serious felony cases, including homicide cases." For the past several years she has specialized in prosecuting child sexual abuse cases and, in the same vein, is chairwoman of the Yamhill County Sexual Assault Task Force.
In Berry's absence, Lynch will oversee eight DDAs in the criminal office, as well as two additional DDAs assigned to the juvenile department doing delinquency and dependency cases, and one handling child support enforcement.
Berry said the position of chief DDA has been open for nearly a decade due to budgetary constraints and other issues, but a "combination of things primarily driven by turnover and vacant positions from late '16 and into '17" allowed the office to fill the position.