WHITLEY CITY —
The Record is also featuring responses this week from the two candidates who are vying to be McCreary County Attorney. Both are Democrats and responses are printed in order of receipt.
Whitley City attorney Conley Chaney is the son former County Attorney Phil Chaney and his wife Judy. Since 2008, he has served in four prosecution offices including serving McCreary County as assistant county attorney and assistant commonwealth’s attorney. He has also worked in two criminal defense offices before opening his own practice. Between earning his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Kentucky, Chaney worked as a Rural Policy Fellow based in Washington, DC.
Incumbent County Attorney Austin Price of Whitley City is a proud veteran who earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Cumberland College and law degree from Chase College of Law. He has 23 years of experience pertaining to criminal, civil, appellate and administrative law. Price and his wife, Darlene, have two children and three grandchildren.
What criminal/civil issues concern you most in today's legal system?
CHANEY: In district court, the toughest challenges are (1) ending the criminal cycle for repeat offenders, and (2) ending the family cycle of child neglect/abuse. I address these issues as space allows in later questions.
Another major concern is the underfunding of the criminal justice system and the low morale of many involved. Due to budget shortfalls, our criminal courts have become a taxing agency. Incarceration for failure to pay court costs and fees is especially hard in McCreary County since losing our jail. Attorneys have too many cases at any given time. Police agencies are understaffed. Unless the attorneys dedicate themselves to being prepared on every case, citizens have little chance for a meaningful “day in court”.
As county attorney, I can lead by treating each person with respect, being prepared every time that I enter the courtroom, and acting to resolve conflicts, save public resources, and ensure justice.
PRICE: By far the biggest criminal issue facing our County is the drug epidemic ignited by the overprescribing of pain pills. This situation will only intensify with the FDA's misguided approval of a new pain pill, Zohydro, scheduled for release this month. Zohydro will be available in an easy-to-crush capsule and is reported to be five times more potent than current pain pills. As County Attorney, I will continue to fight for the restoration of funding for drug court in district court; so I will have the resources to combat this growing onslaught of addiction and its related criminal activities.
McCreary County is facing several civil lawsuits initiated prior to my appointment as County Attorney. I work long hours to provide county officials with sound and experienced legal advice in civil matters in order to prevent any additional lawsuits.