Kent Municipal Judge Karli Jorgensen to retire by end of year

On Monday morning (Jan. 29), Judge Karli Jorgensen announced she will be retiring from her position as Kent Municipal Court judge later this year.

Jorgensen was first appointed by former Mayor Suzette Cooke in December 2011. In 2013 and 2017, she ran unopposed to retain her seat on the bench.

Jorgensen – who is beloved and respected by many in the Kent community – anticipates working until the end of the year. Mayor Dana Ralph will appoint her successor.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community and work at the Kent Municipal Court,” Jorgensen said. “I am committed to staying onboard to ensure that the transition to a new judge is seamless and successful.”

In 2017, Jorgensen and a team of dedicated stakeholders – including prosecutors, defense counsel, treatment providers, probation officers and law enforcement – started the first Municipal DUI Court in the State of Washington. DUI Court is a specialized, comprehensive court program focused on high-risk offenders that increases community safety by reducing the risk of re-offense.

“Judge Jorgensen has been an amazing asset to Kent,” said Mayor Ralph. “She is great at figuring out what our city needs and making it happen. The DUI court is just one example of the caring and commitment she brings to our community. She will be missed.”

Jorgensen served on the Judicial Assistance Service Program committee with the District and Municipal Courts Judicial Association and was an active member of the Regional Law, Safety and Justice Committee and Trial Court Coordination Council. She has been a Pro Tem training instructor for both King County District Court and the DMCJA and has also presented at the Judicial Institute. Jorgensen also participated in the annual “Game of Life” programs at Kent high schools which educate young men and women about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.

Prior to serving as Kent Municipal Court Judge, Jorgensen served as Kent’s primary Judge Pro-Tem from 1996 to 2011, bringing more than 18 years of experience from the King County District Court and other municipal courts. Jorgensen holds a master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington.