Monday, October 15, 2018

Derek Durbin: Why I'm Running for Campbell County Circuit Court Judge (District 2)


By Derek Durbin 

The word “home” is more complex than it seems. It not only means the physical structure where you live, but it means your street, your neighborhood, your city, your county. “Home” can mean a group of friends reliving memories, it can mean Sunday dinner with the family, or it could even mean simply standing alone in an empty field watching the sun set.

It is a word that escapes simple definition because the word “home” is truly an expression of emotion. It is a word that describes that which we hold dear in our hearts.

For me, home means Campbell County.

And as it is my home, it is something that I am compelled to serve.

I am running for Circuit Court Judge because Campbell County deserves a judge who has the right experience for the position.

As a lawyer, my career has been focused and concentrated as a trial attorney in Campbell County’s courthouse. Hardly a week has gone by where I have not been litigating some matter in our courthouse. I began my career as a public defender representing people in criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies. After thousands of cases, including countless felonies, I moved into private practice. I joined, and still serve on, Campbell County’s Neglect/Abuse panel where I am appointed to protect our community’s children from horrible and nightmarish situations. I am the attorney who is appointed to represent the children born addicted to drugs, to children whose parents have drug addiction issues, to children who have been abused.

I also served Campbell County as a prosecutor. I not only prosecuted cases, but I fielded calls from officers at all hours of the day and night to answer questions; I sat in rooms listening to children describe in detail their abuse; I accompanied police on drug raids; and, I assisted with the investigation of serious felony matters including armed robbery to murder. I am running for Circuit Court Judge because I have the right experience.

I am running for Circuit Court Judge because our community deserves a judge who understands the drug epidemic and is committed to combatting it.

When I began practicing, crack cocaine plagued our streets. Pain pills replaced crack cocaine. Heroin replaced pain pills. Now, we are seeing methamphetamine use creep into our community. Having practiced in the field for so long, I have a deep understanding of the drug crisis. I understand that people become addicted to drugs for a variety of reasons – ignorant experimentation that becomes an addiction; an injury that leads to an addiction to opioids; and, people with mental health issues who self-medicate and become addicted, among other reasons. I understand the value of treating addicts so long as they pose no threat to public safety. Campbell County is fortunate to have three alternative Courts to address these issues – Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Veterans’ Court. No judge is required to participate in these programs. I commit myself to working with these courts to help addicts who pose no threat to public safety become productive members of society again. Further, I understand that my experience does not make me an expert in the field of drug addiction, and I commit to maintaining an open door for doctors, counselors, and others to discuss methods that can be used to try and get people clean and keep them clean and sober. I am running for Circuit Court Judge because I understand the epidemic and am committed to combatting it.

I am running for Circuit Court Judge because our community deserves a judge who has the right demeanor and the integrity for the position.

As Campbell County’s next Circuit Court Judge, I will ensure that the law is evenly and fairly dispensed. I believe that the law is as it is enshrined in our Constitution and written by our legislature. As judge I will not stray from the letter of the law, even if it means a result with which I personally disagree. I will ensure that the courtroom is a place where disputes are settled without bias. I am not beholden to politicians, to corporate interests, or to elite interest groups. I will not base my decisions on relationships or friendships outside of the courtroom, or on who is representing the individual. I am running for Circuit Court Judge because I have the right demeanor and integrity.

I am running for Circuit Court Judge because Campbell County deserves a public servant who is committed to being fiscally responsible.

I have worked in both the private and public realms. In the private realm, one works to come under budget and to be fiscally responsible. In the public realm, I have witnessed managers spend money unnecessarily at the end of the year to ensure that all of the money is spent. In the private realm, excess moneys are used to improve the business. In the public realm, excess moneys are spent to ensure that more money is received the next year. As judge I will implement measures to ensure that public money is not spent unnecessarily. I will do this by implementing technological improvements in the courtroom, including video and teleconferencing, in order to reduce case backlogs and speed up case handling. This reduces time spent in-court and allows for clerks to be in their office processing cases and for sheriffs to be out serving warrants and other paperwork. I am running for Circuit Court Judge because I see waste of public monies, and I am committed to stopping it.

I am running for Circuit Court Judge because Campbell County deserves a public servant who is committed to being fiscally transparent.

I understand and deeply appreciate that, as Judge, my paycheck comes from the community’s tax money. The community has the right to know how their money is spent. To that end, I commit to publishing my time sheets so that any taxpayer can see that I am not leaving early to go boating or play golf. I commit to publishing my time sheets so that any taxpayer can see that I am working more than full time for my paycheck. Further, expenditures related to the office will be publicly available for review by any taxpayer in Campbell County. I am running for Circuit Court Judge because I believe the public has a right to know, and I am committed to being open and transparent.

Ultimately, I am running for Circuit Court Judge because Campbell County deserves a public servant who is truly invested in the safety and future of our county.

My commitments above are founded upon my love for and investment in Campbell County. I have a reason to care. I have lived here for nearly the entirety of my adult life. I have spent my career as a lawyer in our courthouse. I met my wife Denise Trauth here, we bought a home here, and we are raising our children here. When our children become young boys, we will spend time out in the country, and I will teach them the values I learned working on my family farm growing up. When our children become young men, we will spend time watching UK basketball in establishments here in Campbell County. When our children become men, we will be babysitting their children (should we be so blessed). I truly care about Campbell County’s safety and its future, and will do everything as the next Circuit Court Judge to protect our community and help it reach its full potential.

I am not running for a paycheck or for satisfaction of my ego.

I am running for Circuit Court Judge because Campbell County is my home.

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