A room full of Camden County residents heard from the candidates running for the position of Camden County Prosecuting Attorney on Thursday night.
A room full of Camden County residents heard from the candidates running for the position of Camden County Prosecuting Attorney on Thursday night. Candidates including Incumbent Brian Keedy, Cole Bradbury and Michael Gilley, were asked everything from what factors to consider when negotiating a plea bargain to what their priorities would be if elected into the office of Prosecuting Attorney.
Each candidate answered the same question. There were seven questions total and they were given three minutes per question.
Here is a look at what the candidates had to say when asked why they were the best person for the job.
Question: What makes you the best person for this position and what distinguishes you from your opponents?
“I think you have to have the right priorities to handle the office. The priorites in the Camden County Prosecuting Attorney's office have been really out of whack. I'll explain that using some cases as examples. Back last summer, Mr. Keedy assigned one of his assistant prosecutors to handle a first degree murder case off of Mace Road in Osage Beach. The case went fine, but if you are the prosecuting attorney, you need to be handling your murder cases. A couple of months after that, I handled a misdemeanor/minor case and Mr. Keedy was the prosecuting attorney on that case. It was a $350 problem. None the less, on that misdemeanor theft, my client served 26 days in jail. That's a lot for theft. Less than two months later, Mr. Keedy had a case that had its venue changed it was Richard Calvino, he was an Osage Beach Police Officer, guilty on a plea deal and sweetened the pot by having Mr. Calvino get probation for molesting a child. He admitted to molesting a child. That is not okay. So, I have the priorities to look at the people who need to go to prison. Child molesters are on that list. I have the priorities to make sure I handle all of our first degree murder trials. That's what makes me the best. I have the trial experience to handle it. I've handled prosecutions. I've handled criminal cases. I've handled jury cases. I've handled bench trials. I have the experience necessary to do all of those things and I have the priorities to make sure they are handled correctly. “
“I believe being from the area that over the years I have developed quite a passion for the area. One of the things about being a prosecutor---I read once that a prosecutor said that 'I love my job because I get to go to work every day because I can do the right thing.' In my 10 years of experience as an attorney, I think that is something that has been lacking and it is something that I very much look forward to. I have been an attorney for 10 years, I've received trial experience. I have run my own law office now for two years. Part of the job of being a prosecutor is also being a supervisor having quite a large staff and having assistant prosecutors underneath you. So, being able to have that business experience and having the relationship that I do with other county officials including law enforcement and even in the commission office seems to be that I would be able to work with those offices with dealing with the budget and the operations of the office. I also believe that one of the primary attributes of a good prosecutor needs is sound discretion. I believe that I possess that discretion. Many of you know me from the years, many of you may not know me but I believe I possess that judgement to know when to maybe cut somebody some slack or when to stick it to them — when they need to go to prison. Like Mr. Bradbury said, some offenders like child molesters, sexual offenders, dangerous offenders, my goal would be to go after those folks. I can't comment on specific cases, I don't have all the facts that Mr. Keedy had when making those decisions in the two specific cases that Mr. Bradbury referenced. I believe that I have that sound discretion when those cases are brought before me that I can make the right decision.”
Brian Keedy, Incumbent
“In 1990 I went and sat down with Jim Icenogle. At that time he had been the prosecutor for Camden County for 10 years. I said, 'I think I want to be a prosecutor. I've been practicing law now for five years and I have a pretty good sense of what the practice of law is and criminal law how prosecution applies to that.' He said, 'Why don't you come work for me, learn what it is all about, then decide if it is something you need to do?' So, I went to work for him and it was something I discovered that I want to do. I worked for him for sixteen years and during that time I learned from one of the best. He was an excellent prosecutor and I learned how to try a case, how to do a plea bargain, how to charge a case and how to negotiate and talk to law enforcement personnel so that I could get the information that I needed to make the decisions I needed for those cases. In 2006, I was hired as the Director of Prosecution Services. In that job, I trained prosecutors. I offered specific technical assistance to them. I probably would still be in that job except that Jim died. Somebody had to take his place. Mr. Bradbury needs to get his facts straight. The murder case, Gregory George, is a case that I handled and I handled it in Morgan County. I think the case he is talking about was a Morgan County case that I was assigned to as a special prosecutor. After the election four years ago, we had a series of homicides. We had a double homicide in Sunrise Beach, We had a double homicide in Osage Beach a few weeks later and a few weeks after that we had a triple homicide in Stoutland. In addition to that, I was assigned to a case in Morgan County because of a conflict the new prosecutor up there had. That case I did assign to an assistant prosecutor who did prosecute that case to a conviction and in fact Mr. George, the case I prosecuted, he plead guilty in a plea bargain to life in prison. What distinguishes me is my experience. Anybody can say they have experience, not everybody can say they have been doing it for 34 years. Not everybody can say they have handled probably over 10,000 cases. I have prosecuted more jury trials than I can count. I haven't won all my jury trials, but you know what? I have learned from those I have lost and I have become a much better prosecutor because of that experience.
Check Lake News Online for videos from the forum hosted by the Lake Sun and the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce.