Town of Friday Harbor - Administration
Friday Harbor Mayor appointed Adina Cunningham, currently Deputy Director of Administration and Risk Manager for San Juan County, as the new Town Attorney. She replaces Don Eaton who was appointed San Juan County Superior Court Judge by Governor Christine Gregoire.
Cunningham has resigned her position with the county effective April 30, her duties with the town begin May 1. She is opening a private legal practice in Eastsound and Friday Harbor. The Mayor and County Administrator Pete Rose each released statements announcing the respective news about Cunningham.
Neither statement mentioned how her new position could effect negotiations between the town and the county regarding purchase of the Sutton Road site. Cunningham was involved in the negotiations on behalf of the county.
PRESS RELEASE from FRIDAY HARBOR MAYOR CARRIE LACHER: I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Adina Kobayashi Cunningham to the position of Town Attorney. Ms. Cunningham will officially begin to provide legal services on May 1, 2010.
Ms. Cunningham's extensive background in working with government entities will ensure a good fit with the needs of the Town and its Council. In addition, Ms. Cunningham's eagerness and enthusiasm will bring great energy to the Council chambers. I look forward to developing a strong and productive relationship with our new Town Attorney.
"I believe in public service," Adina said. "Having worked as a local administrator for the past two years, I have seen things through an administrator's eyes; as a resident of the County, with family living, working, and growing businesses here, I understand the need for good government administration."
Ms. Cunningham took her current position in 2008 as the County's Deputy Director for Administration. The Deputy Director of Administration acts as the County's Risk Manager and also conducts negotiations, administers the County's Public Defender program and supervises administrative staff including Information Services, Human Resources and Contract Management.
Ms. Cunningham comes to the Town with a Bachelor's in history from Lewis and Clark College and a law degree from the Northwestern School of Law, also at Lewis and Clark. She spent a year as a law clerk for the city of Portland and a year as a Judicial Law Clerk for the State of Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals.
Ms. Cunningham began her legal career as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii. She advised Hawaii's Department of Health (the equivalent of Washington's Department of Ecology) on environmental regulations relating to the management and enforcement of state and federal solid and hazardous waste laws, public hearings, and state and federal legislation. After advising the Department of Health, Adina advised and represented various state agencies in litigation and appeals. For three of her years in the Attorney General's office, she represented the state pension system, handling disability retirement litigation, appeals and administrative hearings. She also advised the system's Board of Trustees on contract management, public records issues, settlement negotiations and compliance with federal regulations.
Adina is opening a law practice with offices in Eastsound and Friday Harbor. She is an experienced government lawyer and will be a welcome addition to the Town.
PRESS RELEASE from COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR PETE ROSE:
Adina Kobayashi Cunningham, Deputy Director for San Juan County Administration, is leaving County employment on April 30, 2010.
Adina joined my staff on June 2, 2008. She has been a great asset to our work, providing a depth of disciplined research, professionalism and skilled process to a wide range of programs, from labor negotiations to risk management to contract administration to the public defender program. With the budget woes the County has faced, she has provided solid assistance to me in the transitions the deficits have created in our County departments.
Adina grew up on Orcas Island and graduated from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. She and her family moved to Hawaii, where for nine years she worked for the State Attorney General's office as a Deputy Attorney General, representing various state agencies including the state pension system's legal and third party liability risk issues. When she returned to the San Juan Islands, we were extraordinarily lucky to have someone with her skills and experience available to fill the Deputy Director position.
Adina has indicated that she will be returning to the full-time practice of law, opening up a law office on Orcas. Her clients will profit from our loss.
Pete Rose, County Administrator