Nate Caldwell, director of community corrections in Seattle’s King County, has a criminal background that would prohibit many from becoming a public official, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Caldwell, 62, served five years on a manslaughter conviction in the 1960s. In 2001, he was found not guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice in Florida. When Caldwell was confirmed for his job, the King County Council ordered him to help reduce the population of the jail system by increasing the use of such programs as work release, county work crews, and electronic home monitoring.
“Nate has done a really fine job in crafting and administering programs that are really making a difference,” King County Councilmember Larry Gossett said. In 1967, the year he was released from prison, Caldwell was the sort of person he now routinely helps. In a Brooklyn, N.Y., gang fight, Caldwell’s gang met up with another, shots were fired, and a rival gang member ended up dead. To this day, he doesn’t know whether he was the one who actually killed the young man. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter. In 1969, Caldwell landed a post with a New York-based non-profit — his first job in what has become a 36-year career in the corrections field.