Sequim Gazette staff
William B. Payne is Clallam County’s new prosecuting attorney, replacing former prosecutor Deb Kelly, who resigned at the end of December.
Payne said the timing works for him: He had intended to run for the office this year, so when the opportunity opened he jumped on it.
“I’m ready to bring my insights and experience,” he said.
He added that after keeping an eye on the prosecutor’s budget for several years, he believes he can make the current funding, which is often criticized as inadequate, work.
“I wouldn’t have applied if I didn’t want to take the job on as-is and serve the mission.”
Payne isn’t a newcomer to the office, with a year spent serving as a deputy prosecutor with the Clallam County Prosecutor’s office on his resume.
He also served as an Assistant County Attorney in Wyoming, a position similar to a Washington county prosecutor.
Prior to being chosen for the Clallam position, Payne was an Assistant Attorney General representing the Washington Department of Social and Health Services where his practice consisted of “protecting children from neglect and abuse.”
A little history
Payne grew up in West Texas. After farming, ranching and working in construction, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and in time was promoted through the enlisted ranks to sergeant. After four years he was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He completed Officer Candidate School, graduating No. 1 in his class, and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
After retiring from the Marine Corps as a captain, Payne returned to Texas and began working in the computer field, an experience that included building a company from the ground up.
Payne serves on the board for the Clallam/Jefferson County Pro Bono lawyers and is a member of the Port Angeles Rotary Club and the Port Angeles Public Safety Advisory Commission.
He served as president of the Clallam County Bar Association in 2010.
Payne graduated from Wayland Baptist University with a BSOE and MBA and received his law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law.
He and his wife, Pamela, a family nurse practitioner at the Jamestown Clinic in Sequim, have two adult daughters and twins that attend Sequim Middle School.