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Past catches up with former Aberdeen muni judge Conroy

One-time Aberdeen municipal court judge Paul Conroy was hoping for a new start in Clallam County. Instead, his past history, including an alleged stalking incident with a court administrator, became front page news weeks after he was hired.

Now, he’s resigning from his new job as a deputy prosecutor in Clallam County, according to The Peninsula Daily News.

“I wanted a new start, and I was hoping there would be no more publicity about this, and I still don’t understand why it was front-page news,” Conroy told The Peninsula Daily News on April 11.

Conroy, who had also worked previously as a senior deputy prosecutor in Grays Harbor, helped himself get the Clallam job by using interim Grays Harbor Prosecutor Gerald Fuller as a reference.

Conroy’s actions resulted in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the city of Aberdeen by a court administrator, who said the judge had exhibited stalking behavior toward her — and likely ended up costing him his job in the end when Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson chose not to reappoint him to the position this past December. The city and Conroy refuted the cliams. However, the city’s insurance pool settled out of court with former court administrator Aminta Hill for $580,000.

At least one Clallam County commissioner said he had no idea about Conroy’s background. There had been debate among the Clallam County commissioners in the hiring of the deputy prosecutor post because at least one other candidate not chosen had been involved in a 2008 age-discrimination lawsuit that cost the county $1.6 million in a settlement, according to The Peninsula Daily News.

Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney William Payne told The Peninsula Daily News that he knew about the litigation, “He provided multiple references, including the Grays Harbor Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Fuller, and former women co-workers. All of his references were contacted and all spoke very highly of him.”

It’s not clear which former women co-workers were also listed as references.

Fuller, the Grays Harbor County prosecutor, defended Conroy in an interview with The Peninsula Daily News.

“He’s honest, he’s upstanding, he’s hard-working, and he’s a great guy,” Fuller said, “and an excellent lawyer.”