Fay Stetz-Waters: Non-partisan candidate for Linn Circuit Judge, Position 1
OCCUPATION/WORK HISTORY: I am the incumbent Circuit Court Judge for Position 1. In this capacity, I hear cases ranging from criminal to landlord tenant law, wrongful death to child custody. On an average Monday, I might decide as many as one-hundred-and-fifty pleas, sentences, or requests for continuances. When I am on duty, you could find me up in the middle of the night reviewing urgent warrant requests presented by police officers who need immediate assistance to keep our community safe. This position is the culmination of many years of judicial decision making. As an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Oregon’s Office of Administrative Hearings, I heard more than 4,000 unemployment cases. As a Hearings Officer for the State Board of Parole and Post Prison Supervision, I determined whether or not paroled felons would return to prison after violating terms of their parole. All told, I have been in some kind of judicial position for more than seven years and have served every position with professionalism and integrity. I have also worked as a lawyer for Legal Aid in Linn County, representing our elderly, low-income and other vulnerable neighbors. In this role I made house calls to Sodaville, Sweet Home, and Lebanon, and along the way I met many kind, hardworking people who solidified my commitment to Linn County.
PREVIOUS RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: I have thirty years of public service experience including serving as a United States Marine, 911 Dispatcher, Law Clerk for the Oregon Department of Justice, Legal Researcher for the National Crime Victims Institute, Program Assistant for the Oregon State Bar, and civil rights and sexual assault investigator for Oregon State University. In addition, I served on the Oregon State Bar Lawyers for Veterans Executive Steering Committee, as a Board Member for the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, and as a mediator with Neighbor 2 Neighbor.
EDUCATION: Manchester Community College, general studies/humanities; Trinity College, B.A., History cum laude; Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D.
HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Spending time with my family, playing with my pug dog, gardening, reading, cooking, Rotary Club.
WHY I’M RUNNING: "Being the incumbent judge has affirmed my commitment to running in this race. My experiences as a US Marine and a 911 dispatcher have taught me to remain calm and focused in all circumstances. My judicial temperament, my passion for justice, and my deep understanding of the law give me the tools to be an excellent judge. "In addition to being well suited for the work, I have visions for our court and our community. Currently, a vast number of cases result from addiction. Our neighboring communities have inpatient drug treatment available. Linn County does not. Our neighboring communities have a Veterans Court. Linn County does not, and veterans with PTSD are often treated like common criminals. All the while, millions are spent imprisoning people for non-violent offenses when a fraction of that money would be enough to treat their addiction and mental health issues. "Naturally, I rule on the law and only the law. I am well-suited for the bench because I never let my own opinions supersede the rule of law, and I act with professionalism in everything I do. However, as a judge, I have discretion in many situations. When I do have discretion, I make choices that keep our community safe, show compassion, and preserve our human and economic resources by looking at issues from all angles, not just the lens of crime and punishment. "As a circuit court judge, I apply the law fairly. I make processes clear. When I have discretion, I always think about our community’s safety first. I also make decisions that serve the greater common good, not simply a thirst for punishment. In doing so, I continue to strengthen our community and be a good steward of community resources."