June 01, 2023

Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed retired Snohomish County-based appeals court judge J. Robert Leach to serve on the Washington state Public Disclosure Commission.  

In 2008, Leach was appointed to the state Court of Appeals in Snohomish County by Governor Christine Gregoire, and served on the Appellate Judge Education Committee, the Court of Appeals Executive Committee, the Judicial Information System Committee and the Court of Appeals Rules Committee. He retired in 2021 and is now a resident of Port Ludlow. 

Leach said he believes transparency for political campaigns, particularly concerning any use of artificial intelligence, is an important issue.  

“I’m hoping to contribute to the PDC’s role of giving people confidence in the electoral process,” he said. 

Before his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Leach worked as an attorney based in Snohomish County for more than 30 years. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1973 and the UW School of Law in 1976.  

“We’re all looking forward to welcoming Judge Leach to the PDC,” said Commission Chair Fred Jarrett. “Each new member brings their unique experience with them, and helps make the Commission stronger and more effective.” 

The Public Disclosure Commission, formed in 1972, enforces Washington state campaign finance and disclosure laws, and works to help voters understand how campaign money is spent. The agency is led by a board of five Commissioners appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate, and an executive director.  

Leach’s term begins June 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2027.  He replaces outgoing Commissioner William Downing, also a retired judge, who joined the Commission in 2018. Downing’s term expired in December 2022, but he continued to serve as allowed by state law until a successor could be named.