Hunt asks attorney to track cases

By: 
Alexis Barker

Alexis Barker

NLJ Reporter

 

During the Sept. 4 meeting of the county commissioners, Commissioner Tracy Hunt asked County Attorney William Curley to track how cases are handled and in what time frame. He suggested that such a comparison might help commissioners assess job performances of county attorneys in light of Curley’s loss to Gillette attorney Alex Berger in the August primary election. 

Berger emerged the winner over the incumbent Curley for the Republican nomination. There is no Democratic Party candidate for the office. Curley will remain in office until Jan. 4, when Berger will take over.

“I am wondering if there is any way a person could start about now quantifying the data,” Hunt said. 

Hunt proposed that Curley keep track of each case and include in the data such things as who brought the case to the county, the status of the case in court, the length of time until a case is closed, and whether a case is dropped, dismissed, prosecuted or pleaded and by whom. 

“It could be a baseline to compare the existing county attorney to the new,” Hunt said. “It would be a way to see if law enforcement’s complaints are accurate.” 

While the News Letter Journal has not heard specific police officer complaints on the record, several citizens have openly expressed concerns with Curley and the number of cases that are dropped by his office. 

Hunt also said that sometimes there is a “honeymoon period” for newly elected officials, but that period eventually ends. 

Hunt asked Curley whether such an analysis was possible or would be time wasted.

Curley said that the analysis could be done, but that the involvement of several different agencies could make compiling such data and analyzing it difficult. 

“Different agencies and courts keep information differently,” Curley said. 

Hunt told Curley that he would like to see if there is a “reasonable way” to evaluate the work being done. 

“There is really only two data points,” Hunt said. “I don’t know if it is a valid comparison, but it is something.” 

Curley said that he thought the data compilation was a “good suggestion.” 

“You guys should reach out to any other county commissioners to see if there is any way of assessing the work of the county attorney,” Curley suggested. “It would be good to know.” 

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