MEDIA CONTACT: Hector Castro, Office of Independent Investigations transition team
Gov. Jay Inslee today named Roger Rogoff director of the newly created state Office of Independent Investigations (OII). The OII was established by the Legislature and signed into law by Inslee in May 2021. The agency was created as a result of the demand to provide competent, unbiased, and thorough investigations of police use of deadly force, often affecting people of color, that will be independent of the involved law enforcement agency.
Rogoff most recently served as legal counsel for Microsoft working on matters of data privacy and public safety. He previously served as a judge in King County Superior Court, including three years as a juvenile court judge. His 27-year history in the criminal justice system also includes 13 years as a senior deputy prosecuting attorney with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, six years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and two years as a criminal defense attorney.
The OII will be the first agency of its kind in the United States. Rogoff’s appointment is effective June 16.
“As a superior court judge, Roger was deeply committed to considering cases through a lens of strict impartiality and objectivity, but without losing sight of the humanity of those involved in the cases,” Inslee said. “And as a member of the task force on sentencing reform, he demonstrated a commitment to improving outcomes within our legal justice system through collaboration with a diverse array of stakeholders. His appointment was made at the recommendation of the OII Advisory Board, a diverse group representing a variety of communities within our state. After meeting with Roger, I was pleased to follow the board’s recommendation. Roger’s experiences make him exceptionally suited to lead an agency, independent of law enforcement or the governor’s office, to investigate cases of officer-involved shootings.”
“I appreciate the governor’s faith in my ability to lead the new Office of Independent Investigations, and humbled by this incredibly hard-working, thoughtful Advisory Board’s recommendation,” Rogoff said. “In my years working within our state’s criminal justice system, I have met many of those involved in the discussions that led to the creation of the OII. I intend to lead an agency that conducts excellent investigative work, free from influence, with the goal of ensuring justice by learning the truth behind these incidents.”
“The entire advisory board was impressed with Roger’s commitment to ensuring transparency at the Office of Independent Investigation and his sincere enthusiasm for this appointment,” OII Advisory Board co-chair Fred Thomas said, appointed to the board as a representative of families impacted by police use of deadly force. “It was also clear to us that Roger really understands the historic significance of this agency being created here in Washington state, and his appointment as the first director to lead it.”
“Your Office of Independent Investigations Advisory Board and Governor’s staff have worked tirelessly to search for and vet candidates for the first director of this critical office,” Advisory Board co-chair Eric Drever said, appointed to the board as a representative of the law enforcement community “Therefore, we are excited about the Governor’s appointment of Roger Rogoff to this role, and I am confident that his vast experience will bring a collaborative approach for working with all stakeholders in a professional, transparent, and equitable process for independent investigations.”
Rogoff is a graduate of Emory University and received his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law. In addition to his work as an attorney and a judge, he was also a participant on the Washington State Criminal Justice Task Force, which reviewed the state’s sentencing laws, producing a report with recommendations for improvements.