James Erb and Eric Richey Vie for the Open County Prosecutor Position
James Erb graduated from Florida State University’s College of Law in 2004 and began his career as a prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office for the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida—one of the state’s busiest. He prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases including drug trafficking, violent offenses, and capital felonies. Quickly earning a reputation for hard work, good judgment, and securing justice for victims of crime, James was elevated to a specialty unit, the Child Abuse Division, where he prosecuted sexually motivated crimes against children.
James and his wife Heather relocated to Whatcom County in 2007 to be nearer relatives and to start a family of their own. The Nooksack Indian Tribe hired him to prosecute offenses in Nooksack Tribal Court. He also represented the interests of the Tribe in child dependency cases under the Indian Child Welfare Act.
James was hired by the Bellingham City Attorney’s Office in 2010. Initially assigned to the criminal division as a prosecutor, he was promoted to the civil division later that year. As a Senior Assistant City Attorney, he provides advice to city departments on a variety of complex legal issues involving constitutional law, elections, contract law, labor and employment law, land use, and public disclosure. James is responsible for training all city employees and elected officials on the disclosure requirements of the Public Records Act.
James and Heather have two young sons, Sam and Liam. When not out hiking, biking and enjoying the Whatcom County outdoors with his family, James has coached the Sehome H.S. Mock Trial teams and volunteered for the Street Law program by Law Advocates.
Eric Richey was born and raised in the Northwest and has lived in Bellingham for 30 years. He is married to Bellingham School Board member, Quenby Peterson. Together they have two mostly wonderful children who attend Bellingham Public Schools. They have a dog named Bumble and a cat aptly named Mr. Cat.
Eric graduated from Lake Washington High school and Western Washington University where he was elected to the Associated Student Board of Directors. He received his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.
As a prosecutor in Deschutes and Benton Counties in Oregon and as a prosecutor in Whatcom Skagit and San Juan Counties in Washington, Eric handled thousands of DUI and Domestic Violence cases early in his career. Since 1997 he has handled thousands of the most serious cases including child and adult rape, murder, stalking and felony assault. He also received the ‘Bucky’ from Pasado Safe Haven for work done with the Humane Society on an animal abuse case.
In 2013 Eric was promoted to chief Criminal Deputy for Whatcom County where he oversees 14 attorneys.