People of Northwest Public Radio
Public Official Safety
Wed March 20, 2013
Colorado DOC Murder Resonates With Local Public Officials
The Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections was shot dead after answering the doorbell at his home Tuesday night. There have been no arrests yet in the death of Tom Clements. The case brings to mind an attack that took place just six months ago on Thurston County Court Judge Michael Brett Buckley.
Judge Buckley was at home when he answered a knock at the door. When he opened it someone threw acid in his face.
Today Buckely says he realized how lucky he was that night.
“That was one of my immediate thoughts was, my goodness, if this person wanted to kill me he could have very easily, because I was two to three feet from him. If he had a little handgun he could have just shot me and walked away. “
Buckley bears no scars from the attack. He showered soon after realizing the liquid wasn’t water.
No one has been arrested in the case.
Sometimes these things make headlines. Federal Prosecutor Tom Wales was shot and killed while working in his Queen Anne home in 2001.
Sometimes they don’t. In the past, Snohomish County prosecutor Mark Roe has had to move his family to a hotel because of death threats.
The Department of Corrections says in the past year in Washington there have been 50 documented threats against community corrections staff and several dozen against others who work for the department.
Buckley says he remains somewhat uneasy. He looks over his shoulder more.
“You know we’re having to look at moving because the location of my home has been widespread though the media as a result of this. I mean, I don’t want to blame the media. I mean, it was easily accessible through an Internet search, which is my guess is how this person ended up on my porch in the first place.”
Buckley has some advice for public officials. He says you need to remove your name from your property records, even if it means giving it to someone else.
Copyright 2013 KUOW