Klickitat County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Hagarty will resign from his office effective Nov. 1 to take a new position as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Washington. The eastern district office is in Yakima.

Hagarty, a Republican who was elected as the county's prosecutor in November 1998, said the decision to move on was a difficult one.

"My decision comes after months of careful thought and consideration of my commitment to the citizens of Klickitat County and the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and my professional career and advancement in my chosen field as a prosecuting attorney," Hagarty said in an Aug. 22 statement. "I reached the conclusion that the change was the right decision for me at this time."

Hagarty added that he hoped county residents would understand.

"I extend my sincere apologies to the citizens of Klickitat County and hope that each of you will be as supportive of my decision as you have been of my office since January 1999," he said. "I hope that I am leaving the office in better shape than when I took office. Thank you all for the support and encouragement over the past two and a half years."

Hagarty added that he has valued his time working in the county.

"I've enjoyed it," he said. "I'm sure some people were not happy with all the decisions we made, but I hope we've done the best job we can for the county and done a good job of representing the people of Klickitat County."

With the vacancy, the Klickitat County Republican Party will be required to submit three names of possible replacements to take over the duties of the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The Klickitat County Board of Commissioners will select one of the three, who would then fill the final year of Hagarty's unexpired term.

An election to the office will be held in November 2002.

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