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Leesa Manion the first woman, person of color to serve as King County Prosecutor

Manion is also the first Korean American woman to be elected prosecuting attorney in the United States, she said Monday.

SEATTLE — Leesa Manion was sworn in as the King County prosecutor Monday afternoon. 

She takes over the position from Dan Satterberg, who held the position for 15 years. 

Manion is the first woman and person of color to hold the office in King County. She is also the first Korean American woman to be elected prosecuting attorney in the United States, she said Monday. She was awarded special recognition from the Korean Prosecutor's Association to mark the occasion. 

"Together we made history," Manion said. "And together we will chart a new path toward improved public safety and public service for the residents of King County." 

Manion said she has been engaging and will continue to engage in several one-on-one and small group meetings with employees, community leaders and other stakeholders ahead of being sworn in. Manion said she is "motivated to make changes that will improve and increase opportunities and transparency throughout the office." 

She plans to elaborate on what those changes are in the third or fourth week of January.

Manion extended her thanks to her two children and her brother for their support during the election as well as her colleagues at the prosecuting attorney's office.

Manion specifically celebrated the women of the prosecuting attorney's office, saying she was "deeply moved by the hope and faith you have placed in me." 

"Representation matters," Manion continued. "Together we can and will ensure, that while I am the first woman to hold this role, I will not be the last." 

Manion also extended her thanks to the Asian American and Korean American communities during the election process. She said the election cycle helped her realize "being seen as, accepted as, and celebrated as an Asian American and a Korean American was a piece of myself that I have been missing." 

Manion said the King County court system is facing a backlog of 4,000 cases as a result of the pandemic, and currently deputy prosecutors are working on resolving cases related to violent crimes and sexual assault. 

King County has faced an increase in gun violence over the last few years, as have many major metro areas nationwide. Manion said she believes gun violence is preventable and through data analysis and cooperation with other agencies, it's possible to "reduce the devastating effects gun violence has on our King County communities."

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