NEWPORT — At noon Monday in the Lincoln County Courthouse, Lanee Danforth began her term as Lincoln County’s chief law enforcement official.
During the May 2020 election, she defeated incumbent Jonathan Cable, who was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown in January 2020 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Michelle Branum in September 2019.
Danforth was sworn in by Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Sheryl Bachart, who said she was honored by the district attorney’s request for her to officiate. In remarks made prior to administering the oath, Bachart drew from her own life experiences, from cross country running in school to running for the bench, advising the incoming chief prosecutor to reflect on her own “road to success.”
Bachart said she “had no idea” she would be a judge but discovered a love for the law while acting as a trial lawyer. “I loved trying cases … I would put in endless hours because I cared about the work I was doing,” Bachart said. “Watching Lanee in trial, she has the same passion. She is amongst the best lawyers I’ve ever seen. She is why I love being a trial judge.”
After earning her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School, Danforth started her legal career as a prosecutor at the Coos County District Attorney’s Office. She then worked for the Clark County, Nev., district attorney while caring for her ill father in Las Vegas. She also obtained an advanced degree in gaming law during that period before returning to Lincoln County to serve as a deputy district attorney and successfully challenging her boss for his seat.
The new district attorney said to expect some immediate and imminent changes from her corner of the courthouse’s first floor. “The office has always been closed for lunch between noon and 1 p.m. everyday, not to mention being closed to the general public 24/7 for the past several months,” Danforth told the News-Times. “We are now open to the public every day from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. — including the lunch hour.”
Coming soon, she said, are a social media page and a website, which will feature regular updates from the district attorney’s office, as well as informational videos.
“I also will schedule some virtual town hall meetings in the next several months where members of the public can talk to me about non-case-specific issues related to the office’s operations and crime within our community,” Danforth said.