Motion filed to end order for officer, magistrate

The county attorney is attempting to have an order overturned which reinstated a city police officer on the grounds his office was not notified and it did not meet the standards for the order.

The case centers around Travis Thompson, a Winchester Police officer who was also elected in November as a magistrate to the Clark County Fiscal Court.

Clark County Attorney William Elkins maintains that Thompson’s oath as magistrate supersedes the oath he took to be a police officer for the city. State law prohibits one person from serving in a county office and a municipal office at the same time.

In March, Thompson and the City of Winchester filed a petition with the Clark Circuit Judge Brandy Oliver Brown to decide whether or not the two positions are incompatible, or could be filled by the same person.

The city had placed Thompson on desk duty in March, but Brown issued a temporary restraining order March 22 reinstating Thompson to his duties with full authority and powers.

She also found that Thompson was suffering irreparable harm by missing possible overtime and other compensation which could not be recovered later.

Brown is scheduled to hear several motions, including whether to allow Elkins to intervene in the case, April 18.

“As legal advisor to the Fiscal Court, the Clark County Attorney is concerned that returning (Thompson) to active duty now places the Fiscal Court in a quandary as every vote he now casts while also serving as a sworn Winchester police officer places a cloud over every official action taken by the Clark County Fiscal Court,” Elkins said in his motion. “As the chief prosecutor in Clark District Court, the Clark County Attorney is rightfully concerned whether every arrest made by (Thompson) will result in a dismissal of the criminal charges as the arrest would be illegal if (Thompson) was not legally able to exercise his arrest powers since he vacated the office to serve as Clark County Magistrate.”

Elkins has previously cited previous Kentucky court rulings and published attorney general opinions which found being a municipal police officer constituted holding a municipal office.