VALE— Malheur County residents now know who their district attorney will be in January.

Governor Kate Brown announced Friday she had appointed David M. Goldthorpe as Malheur County’s district attorney effective Jan. 3. Currently, Goldthorpe is a deputy district attorney in Clatsop County, but has roots in the Treasure Valley.

The position is currently being filled by Colin Bennett, appointed as the interim district attorney following the resignation of Dan Norris, who took a position in the Attorney General’s office. Norris’s term did not run for reelection this year and his current term ends at the end of December.

Former county Chief Deputy District Attorney Erin Landis was elected in the May primary as district attorney to start in January, but was elevated to the Circuit Court bench by appointment in July and by election in the November General Election, following Patricia Sullivan’s going to senior judge status.

That left the district attorney position still open, with Landis continuing as circuit judge, to be filled by the governor.

Brown began accepting applicants for the district attorney’s position in October, saying she would not make an appointment until after the November election and if Landis was retained as judge.

Goldthorpe received his four-year degree from Brigham Young University and earned his law degree from the Willamette University law school, according to information from the governor’s office.

Goldthorpe has also been an instructor at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training since 2015.

He was born and raised in the Boise/Meridian area, where his family raised cattle. He lived there until he was eight years told and his father changed careers.

After law school, Goldthorpe worked in the Marion County DA’s office prosecuting misdemeanors such as DUIIs, assaults and thefts, he said.

“This was my first real experience in being in a courtroom on a regular basis, and it felt like home,” Goldthorpe said. “I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my career in a courtroom after the first day.”

Before moving to Clatsop County seven years ago, Goldthorpe worked as a judicial clerk to Circuit Judge Jerry Hobson in Multnomah County, Goldthorpe said.

Before his judicial experience, he worked as a corrections officer in a prison right out of college.

“Working in a prison environment showed me a part of society that few people truly understand,” Goldthorpe said. “These men had been sentenced to years of incarceration for crimes ranging from drug offenses to murder. It gave me a very real understanding of the final destination for those in the criminal justice system.”

Goldthorpe has been in Clatsop County for seven years and is currently Senior Deputy District Attorney.

“Being appointed as the Malheur County District Attorney is a truly humbling experience,” Goldthorpe said. “It allows me to continue my career while bringing my family within a stone’s throw of our loved ones in Idaho.

“Serving your community and keeping it safe will be a great privilege and an honor. I look forward to my family becoming a part of your wonderful community and making it our forever home,” Goldthorpe said.

Goldthorpe is married and has four children.

Larry Meyer is a news reporter at The Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4813 or by emailing To comment on this story, go to

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