Clarkson to become Marion County D.A. Oct. 1, Beglau to retire early

The Marion County Courthouse, pictured in July. Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday announced that Paige Clarkson, who won the post in May, will take over three months sooner than expected. (Salem Reporter)

Marion County District Attorney-elect Paige Clarkson is stepping into the job a little sooner than expected.

Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday announced she would appoint Clarkson to the post starting Oct. 1. Clarkson will replace Walt Beglau, who is stepping down at the end of September.

Clarkson ran for district attorney unopposed in the May election and was set to take over Jan. 1 of next year.

Beglau, who first took office in 2004, said it was simply time to move on.

“I’m grateful to this community for entrusting me with the responsibility of District Attorney over the last 14 years,” he said. “Now simply feels like the right time to turn over the helm to the District Attorney-elect, Paige Clarkson, and the incredible team at the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.”

Brown, who said in the same announcement that she had appointed Eugene criminal attorney Brad Cascagnette to the Lane County Circuit Court, called the moves wins for the people of Lane and Marion counties.

“While Brad Cascagnette and Paige Clarkson come from opposing sides of our criminal justice system, these bright lights of the legal profession have demonstrated a commitment to the fair administration of justice,” she said in the release. “These two individuals are the right people for these jobs; the people of Lane and Marion counties are fortunate to have these two public servants.”

Clarkson has spent her whole career as a prosecutor in the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, according to the release. She earned her law degree from Willamette University College of Law.

Beglau began his career at the Marion County District Attorney’s Office in May 1998.

Updated, 3 p.m. — This article has been updated to include a statement from Beglau.

Have a tip? Contact reporter Troy Brynelson at [email protected], 503-357-3207 or @TroyWB.