Clooten

When and why did you move to Hermiston?

I started working in Hermiston in 2013 after passing the Oregon State Bar. My wife got a job in the area; and we decided to settle in Eastern Oregon to raise a family. I began my role as Hermiston city prosecutor in 2013, and currently hold that position, today. I also practice civil work with my wife in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, estate planning, and personal injury.

What is your favorite place to eat in Hermiston?

This is a tough question. My wife and I used to have a standing weekly afternoon date at Walker’s Farm Kitchen, but sadly, they stopped serving lunch (#pleasebringbacklunch). Both Shiki and Kobe are great for sushi. Delish Bistro is also consistently good. An unexpected place I really like is the salad bar at Good Shepherd Medical Center.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spend time with my 3- and 5-year-old sons. I also like to run with my dog. I enjoy doing projects on my house and old truck, but I seem to break more than I fix. I always make time to watch the Blazers and college football, but I won’t say which college team I favor (go Ducks!).

What surprises you about Hermiston?

The community was very welcoming when I arrived, and it hasn’t changed. If you ask someone for help, they give it. That’s really a big benefit of a place like Hermiston. I’ve lived in big cities before, and there’s nothing like the feeling of a small town. I also love how much Hermiston continues to grow and expand with new business. All things considered, I think the city government does a good job to promote business growth.

What was the last book you read?

“Watership Down” by Richard Adams. There’s a version of it on Netflix, if you’re not into reading (but you’re reading the Hermiston Herald, so, chances are you at least moderately enjoy a good read). Warren Buffett, the American billionaire ($1,000,000,000 or thousand million) reads 600-1,000 pages per day, according to “Berkshire Hathaway’s Shareholder Letters”. Buffett credits many of his great financial decisions to his voracious reading habit. Not a bad habit to pick up.

What website or app do you use most other than Facebook?

Email, news, or the boring guy answers, like ESPN. I visit my own site 3-4 times a day (oregonlegalfirm.com) and of course www.hermistonherald.com. I do have to visit the Umatilla County Jail Roster frequently for work.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I’ve been planning a trip to Europe with my wife Nicole Clooten, since we started dating. We plan to go to Paris and London. I’d like to visit my brother-in-law in Japan, and someday hope to visit my adopted brother’s homeland of South Korea.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I tried to back flip from a 20-25 foot rock into a body of water. I didn’t exactly stick the landing. Well, my belly did. It wasn’t funny for me, but the 10 people standing around watching thought it was pretty amusing.

What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?

To make a positive impact on my community and the legal profession [insert lawyer joke here]. If you have a suggestion, please contact me.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I’m proud of the law firm I started with my wife in Hermiston. I’m proud of the boys I’m helping to raise, but again, that’s a team effort with my wife.

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