Letter to the Editor for May 4, 2019
Published 9:43 am Monday, May 6, 2019
In regards to your April 16 article about County Attorney William Elkins challenging whether a person like Magistrate Travis Thompson can be both a city police office and a county magistrate, I’m shocked (shocked!) to read former County Attorney Brian Thomas thinks William Elkins is playing politics with the situation.
In my opinion, Brian Thomas looks at everything through a political lens. I believe he spent more time playing the political side of his office and keeping his private practice running than actually performing as county attorney, which is probably why he’s no longer in office.
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How refreshing to see a county attorney like William Elkins use his office to make sure there are no constitutional questions regarding Thompson and his role as a police officer. This will ensure criminal cases brought before the courts won’t be thrown out on a technicality.
The question is based on previous Kentucky Supreme Court precedence and will likely require a higher court than Judge Brown’s to make an ultimate determination.
William Elkins has pushed the question regardless of the fact the magistrate in question is also a Republican. In fact, his first letter to the city was only two days after Thompson’s first fiscal court meeting.
For William Elkins to ignore the fact they are both Republicans and address his concerns as to whether it is constitutional for Thompson to hold both offices is the opposite of “playing politics.” He’s putting the principle of the law above party.
Although the article implies Elkins’ filing is somehow retribution for the votes of Thompson, the opposite is more likely to be true. The original letter was well before Thompson “voted 20 times” against the other Republicans on the Fiscal Court. I wonder if Thompson’s recent votes against the other Republicans is somehow related to these filings and an irritation about having his roles questioned?
Ultimately, it appears to me William Elkins is using his role as county attorney to ensure cases brought before the courts will pass any constitutional test, regardless of the party of the individual involved.
It may well be the courts find that being a city police officer does not constitute holding a “city office.” Once that final determination is made, this county can proceed without worry. In the meantime, it is entirely proper that the legal process should continue.
Eric R. Vetter