County Attorney Greg Vincent Discusses Court Changes: Edmonson Will Leave 38th District and Join Warren's
Darren Doyle, story:
At today's Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting, Edmonson County Attorney Greg Vincent discussed how the county will be greatly affected by some big changes that are headed this way after a bill recently passed, laying out judicial redistricting across Kentucky.
Edmonson County, which is currently in the 38th district along with Ohio, Butler, and Hancock Counties, will be moving into the 8th district with Warren County, beginning January 1, 2023 (and possibly later as outlined below) since the Governor signed the bipartisan bill on Friday that was sent down as a recommendation from the KY Supreme Court.
"We share our judges with them and we share our Commonwealth Attorney with them," Vincent said. "The legislature has changed that now. Starting January 1, we will be in the 8th judicial circuit, meaning we will be partnering with Warren County. Now, I said 'circuit.' The district will be a little bit different. We are to remain in the 38th district for the next four years. The judges in circuit and district are both running for re-election this year, but for some reason, they kept us in the same district for 4, with one caveat: They said, basically if an opening comes up in the district, as I read the statute--this is the way I understand it--if an opening comes up with one of the district judges sometime in the next four years, they will not fill that position. It will be done away with and we will move into the 8th judicial district with Warren County at that time, and the one judge that doesn't vacate his spot will remain the only judge in the 38th."
He said no matter, come January 1, 2023, Edmonson County will have new circuit judges, new family court judges, and a new Commonwealth Attorney.
He also said that since Edmonson will join Warren, a new circuit judgeship will be created, which will make a total of three circuit judges between the two counties. He added that the talk around the courthouse is that Judge J.B. Hines will withdraw from the district judge's race and file to run for the new circuit court position.
We spoke with Judge Hines earlier this evening and asked him whether or not he would seek the new circuit judge position. Judge Hines did not confirm, however, he said he had always been an advocate for representation for Edmonson County, and will continue to be.
"I previously advocated that Edmonson County stay in the district with Butler, Ohio, and Hancock Counties because it gave Edmonson County a rough parity with the other counties, having someone to serve as a judge," Judge Hines said. "Now the legislative body is putting Edmonson and Warren Counties together, creating a new circuit position."
County Attorney Vincent said that a new judicial district does NOT mean Edmonson County will not be going anywhere else for court. With the recent moving of driver's licenses from Edmonson to Warren, many could confuse the two; however, Vincent said the biggest changes will be new judges, a new Commonwealth Attorney, and a much quicker court system.
"I will tell you now, that Warren County has their criminal system on what they call a 'rocket docket,'" he said. "It is super rare for a case to sit waiting for trial in circuit court for longer than 6 months. I mean, they have nothing that goes past a year, that I know of."
Edmonson County has seen cases drag on for years. Currently, Hart County's lengthiest inmate is from an Edmonson County case, from January 2019.
Vincent said because of a quicker court system, the county's jail costs would likely go down. Someone asked if a new potential regional jail built in the 38th district would cause Edmonson County any issues if the county is moved to the 8th district, and Vincent said no, because we've never used a jail in our same district anyway.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander said that absentee voting got underway on April 2nd. Ballots can be requested through GoVoteKY.com. He also said that early in-person voting will take place on May 12th-14th and
County Clerk: Absentee voting started on April 2nd. Govoteky.com. May 12, 13, 14 for early voting, and his office will be open for voting 8am – 4pm. Regular clerk business will still go on Thursdays and Saturdays 8AM to noon.
Tourism Update: Edmonson County Tourism Director Vanessa Ulm said that Park Mammoth Golf Club is looking to open on April 28th and that tee times can be booked now on their website. She also said that Tourism is looking forward to promoting the Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce's Big Brownsville Bash festival, as Tourism is one of the corporate sponsors.
Updates from the Judge Executive: Judge Cannon said that the annual countywide cleanup started today, which will run through Saturday at noon. He said his office has received many of complaints about Scott Waste and he's planning to invite them to fiscal court for public forum in the near future. Cannon said the county plans to contact every trash company in the area and invite bids for countywide trash pickup, as Scott Waste's contract is up at the end of June.
The court voted to use $650K in ARPA funding for Edmonson County Water District projects.
The court also voted to:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for April 25, 2022, at 9AM in the upstairs room of the Edmonson County Courthouse.