Mike Schmidt is district attorney for Multnomah County.
Voter elected Mike in May 2020. However, the outgoing district attorney retired early on July 31, 2020. In response, Governor Kate Brown appointed Mike as district attorney to complete the departing district attorney’s term.
Mike moved to Oregon in 2005 after teaching in public high schools in New Orleans. As a teacher, he observed the school-to-prison pipeline firsthand. His students were victims of crime, witnesses to crime, children of incarcerated parents, and sometimes defendants themselves.
That experience drove Mike to study criminal law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland. Former Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk gave him his first chance to practice criminal law, as an intern and as a deputy DA.
As a frontline prosecutor, Mike worked on misdemeanors, property crime felonies, drug courts, and he led a project to get restitution for victims of crime.
In 2013, Mike worked for the state legislature as counsel to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. After the legislative session, the Criminal Justice Commission hired Mike to implement the new Justice Reinvestment program statewide. Justice Reinvestment is a program that gets to the root causes of crime.
Oregon’s governor appointed Mike in 2015 to be the Director of the Criminal Justice Commission. As Director, Mike led projects that have made our criminal justice system more transparent, fought for legislation that decreases racial disparities and for treating addiction like a health issue, not a criminal justice issue.
In this role, Mike oversaw a $90 million budget and spearheaded community-based efforts to reform Oregon’s criminal justice approach. Mike has advocated for ending cash bail and collaborated with legislators and health experts on legislation focused on the intersection of behavioral health and the criminal justice system. He will continue this work as district attorney.
Mike was elected by his peers to be Vice President of the National Criminal Justice Association. He was also elected to the board of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions. He has also served on the Governor’s Reentry Council, the Prison Forecast Advisory Committee and The Attorney General’s Bias Crime and Incident Steering Committee.
Mike enjoys playing darts, board games, watching the Blazers and the Saints, and spending time with his family exploring Oregon.