1. Briefly describe the responsibilities of the prosecutor and what specific training or experience you have to carry out those responsibilities
Ted Adams (R): I began my legal career as a deputy prosecuting attorney in 2005 in Johnson County. I was quickly recruited into the private sector in 2006 as a criminal defense attorney and became a founding partner of a successful criminal defense firm practicing all around the State of Indiana. I assumed the office as Brown County Prosecuting Attorney in January of 2015. I have served two terms as the Brown County Prosecuting Attorney. The prosecuting attorney serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the county and makes charging determinations regarding criminal investigations with the chief goal of protecting the community. I have had extensive training as both prosecuting attorney and as a criminal defense attorney. I have equal time, professionally, in both prosecution and criminal defense work, making me truly unique amongst most elected prosecutors while providing a different perspective in approaching trial.
2. What criteria do you use when deciding when to file charges and what charges to file?
Adams: The ethical criteria we use in filing criminal charges is determining whether probable cause exists to pursue the matter. My office raises this standard to an even higher standard: we do not file cases that we do not believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, which is our burden of proof once a is filed.
3. What are your views on Brown County’s implementation of pre-trial release on a person’s own recognizance or reduced bail?
Adams: Trial Rule 26 deals with pretrial release, which essentially lets folks out of jail without posting bond. It is a solution to alleviate jail overcrowding issues in large counties and instituted to all 92 counties. I see both sides of this argument: on one hand, folks who cannot afford bond ought not be incarcerated simply because they do not have the money to post bond. On the other hand, jails provide a sober environment for those struggling with addictions while keeping defendants out of trouble and away from bad influences, bad environments, and risk of overdose. Our local approach is the best way Trial Rule 26 should be implemented. Judge Wertz has employed a pretrial service officer who monitors defendants. Requirements to attend inpatient and outpatient treatment programs as a condition of bond are routinely requested by the State and required by the Court. We frequently attempt to revoke pretrial release if the defendant commits new crimes. Finally, we opposed any adjustments in bond for those accused of violent crimes. Under this local matrix, I believe Trial Rule 26 implementation is fair to all parties in the criminal justice system.
4. What do you see as the county’s biggest challenges in the criminal justice system and how they should be addressed?
Adams: A third term presents a few new challenges, but space is unfortunately limited. The most disturbing challenge is a fervent anti-law enforcement trend. It goes without saying that law enforcement officers should be held accountable for any wrongdoing; however, the blatant contempt currently being experienced by good, decent, and normal law enforcement officers is real, it is local, and it seems to have grown exponentially since I assumed office in 2015. Ask yourselves: would I want to be a law enforcement officer in today’s world? The ramifications of the answer to that question are far-reaching: personnel shortages, talent drain, safety issues, increased crime, citizens on juries not willing to enforce the law. I can offer little in the way of optimism, unfortunately, but will state that I believe our law enforcement officers conduct themselves appropriately on a daily basis. I have enjoyed working with them. Working with them has been a privilege and is one of the top reasons I am seeking a third term as prosecuting attorney and turning down the constant allure of returning to the private sector. They truly care about our community and citizens.
ABOUT THE OFFICE
As a constitutional officer, a prosecutor is elected in each judicial circuit for a term of four years.· Represents the state of Indiana, prosecuting criminal and juvenile delinquency cases· Represents the state and child interests in paternity, and child support enforcement actions when authorized· Represents the state and other government entities in certain civil actions· Authorized to appoint a chief deputy and other deputies and investigators as required.
SOURCE: The League of Women Voters Brown County