Margaret Olson selected as the new Summit County Attorney
Olson will be sworn in June 7
June 2, 2017
Wednesday, the Summit County Council selected longtime Summit Park resident Margaret Olson as the new Summit County Attorney.
Olson will be sworn into office on Wednesday, June 7, at the Sheldon Richins Building in Kimball Junction during the regularly scheduled County Council meeting. Olson is a registered Democrat.
Olson replaces Robert Hilder, who died suddenly in April from complications while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. The County Council had previously appointed Dave Thomas, chief civil deputy attorney, as acting county attorney. The County Council also interviewed Patricia Cassel, chief prosecutor in the county attorney's office, and Jan McCosh, who is Hilder's widow.
"A number of women candidates stepped up to this position, which is not traditionally filled by women in the state of Utah," said County Council member Roger Armstrong. "I look forward to continuing to work with Patricia and beginning work with Margaret."
Olson will be responsible for prosecuting all criminal matters in the county, as well as overseeing juvenile court and any civil work or litigation. She will also be advising other elected officials on potential litigation.
Originally from Idaho Falls, Olson graduated from the University of Utah in 1992 and has been a member of the Utah Bar ever since. She is a self-employed attorney overseeing her own firm, Hobbs & Olson, located in Salt Lake City, but is dually licensed in Idaho.
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Before Olson is sworn in, she is legally required to withdraw her representation from clients who have been charged with criminal offenses. Olson said this represents approximately half of her practice. She added, "The other half of my cases are civil in nature and I will be working with the other lawyers in my firm and my civil clients to determine the appropriate track for the remaining civil cases."
"I have extensive experience in all types of criminal cases, including juvenile cases and aggravated felonies. I am also very comfortable in the world of civil litigation," Olson said. "I plan to split my time evenly between the two divisions, accounting for attention required for the Victim Assistance Program and the Children's Justice Center."
Olson has previously worked as a felony prosecutor for the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office in the Special Victims Unit, which specializes in sex crimes, domestic violence and child abuse cases.
Olson, who lives in the Snyderville Basin, said she considers herself well-aware of the issues facing the western portion of the county. However, she admitted a need to become more attuned to the matters facing East Side residents.
Olson said she has no immediate plans to make any changes in the county attorney's office. She said the office is presently staffed with qualified professionals who "respect and support one another."
"They are doing good work," Olson said. "It would be my intention to continue Robert Hilder's overall philosophy, which I would describe as civility, fairness, respect for all people and the highest standards of professionalism."
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