Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Werth knows the law

As a former county commissioner, I have firsthand knowledge of Judge Robert Elgee's work and judicial decisions as district court judge. I have also worked closely with Doug Werth as a planning commissioner and a public defender. From this experience, I strongly urge voters to support Doug Werth.

During my tenure on the Blaine County Commission, I found there were few land developers that Elgee didn't support. Blaine County has been challenged in district court before, but developers never had the support of an activist judge. When Judge Elgee allowed one developer's attorney to subpoena the e-mails of our volunteer P&Z members and staff of local nonprofits in the Cove Springs dispute, he encouraged the tactics of intimidation. Members of the P&Z asked if they had to hire an attorney to represent them; citizens told me that they were frightened to speak their minds because Elgee might allow developers' attorneys to go after them. This is a major deterrent to citizens' exercising their right of free speech.

Voters also need to look at the number of times that Judge Elgee has been disqualified in criminal cases by the Blaine County prosecutor and in Twin Falls, whose prosecutor, Grant Loebs, also supports Werth. Take a look at Elgee's record on probation for repeat offenders. Elgee's decisions have also been overturned or found erroneous 70 percent of the time when taken to the Idaho Supreme Court. In his judicial career, he is batting 48 percent with higher courts. Not a record I can support.

Doug Werth knows the law. Has been a prosecutor and public defender, and has served with distinction on Blaine County's Planning and Zoning Commission. I trust him.

Sarah Michael

Sun Valley

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