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Carruthers tapped for bench

Kate Carruthers -
Kate Carruthers
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Longtime islander and attorney Kate Carruthers has been nominated to serve as Bainbridge Island Municipal Court Judge.

Carruther’s nomination by Mayor Darlene Kordonowy is scheduled for confirmation by the City Council tonight at City Hall.

“It was her great deal of experience, her attitude, her sense of fairness and the way she conducts a court” that put her in the lead of nine other candidates, Kordonowy said.

If confirmed by the City Council, Carruthers will succeed Steve Holman, who was appointed in March to the Kitsap County District Court.

Carruthers has served as an interim judge at the Bainbridge Municipal Court since Holman’s departure, and had previously filled in for Holman when he was unavailable.

Carruthers exhibits many of the qualities that marked Holman’s 16 years’ serving on the island’s municipal court bench, according to Kordonowy.

“She has many of the same sensibilities,” the mayor said. “She has the same sense of fairness and a sternness when it’s important.”

Carruthers was attending a conference early this week and could not be reached for comment.

In February, Carruthers told the Review she was applying for the position after having served on the bench numerous times as a judge pro-tem. She said at that time that her experiences filling in for Holman have been “very gratifying,” especially when she witnessed people change course for the better.

“I believe the municipal court system is an opportunity to help people take advantage of resources that can change their lives,” she said.

Carruthers moved to the island in 1982 after graduating from Gonzaga Law School. She has worked for law firms in Seattle and Winslow, while filling many volunteer roles in the community.

In 2003, the Kiwanis Club of Bainbridge Island named Carruthers its Citizen of the Year in recognition of her leadership with Bainbridge Performing Arts, the Kitsap County Dispute Resolution Center and the Bainbridge Island Community Endowment, and her fund-raising work to establish the Marge Williams Center, which houses island nonprofits.

Carruthers’ confirmation is scheduled for 8:40 at tonight’s council meeting.

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