Gov. Jay Inslee announced that he is appointing G. Helen Whitener to Pierce County Superior Court. Whitener is replacing Judge John McCarthy who is retiring after serving 18 years on the bench.
Whitener, who is originally from Trinidad and moved to the United States while in her teens to attend college, currently serves as an appeals judge for the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. She presides over appeals of decisions made by the Department of Labor and Industries Administrative Law Judges. She ran her own private firm in Lakewood and Tacoma from 2005-2013 where she practiced criminal defense as well as civil contracts and small business issues. She has served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Pierce County and Island County as well as a defense attorney for the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel.
Whitener is currently a member of the Pierce County Minority Bar Association and Tacoma Black Collective. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from City University in New York and earned her Juris Doctor at the Seattle University School of Law in Tacoma.
“Helen has dedicated her career to serving the people of Pierce County and is highly regarded for her expertise and dedication to her work,” Inslee said. “Her tremendous work as a judicial officer, prosecutor, and defense attorney will make her an exceptional addition to the bench.”
Whitener will begin her term on the Pierce County Superior Court later this month.