Houston-Henry County District Attorney Race

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

The Houston-Henry County District Attorney race heats up just weeks before the election.
Incumbent Doug Valeska seeks his fifth term in office and he's not willing to give up his seat anytime soon.
His opponent, Republican Arthur Medley has previous experience in the DA's office.
In fact, Medley worked under Valeska for six years as a Chief Trial Attorney.
This is how they intend to "Focus on the Future."
"We're looking for consistency across the board. The way things are done now may have worked 20 years ago, but it's 2010," said Medley.
"There's the old saying, If it's not broke why do you need to fix it?" said Valeska.
Both, Valeska and Medley, agree that improvements are needed in the Houston-Henry County District Attorney's office.
"From a trial perspective the policy is you rotate prosecutors from courtroom to courtroom. The victim has to meet a new prosecutor and has to go through and try to explain it and develop a rapport," said Medley.
"We're going to start drug court in January. Drug court will pertain to those individuals who are continuing to have problems and try to get them off of their habit," said Valeska.
Another major issue is crime the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center shows during a 9-year period, arrests nearly doubled in both Henry and Houston counties.
Valeska feels the only way to handle the increase in crime, is by enforcing the law.
"The bottom line is when we see 25% of the state population in prison comes from this circuit that shows you that we're law and order. My number 1 job is a prosecutor."
But Medley believes more emphasis should be put on prevention.
"We're recycling the same people. We're not doing anything to break the cycle. The DA is supposed to get these people out of the criminal cycle and make them functioning members of society.”
With Country Crossing taking center stage in this year's election Medley believes the D.A. should play an integral role in the electronic bingo controversy.
"Your DA is supposed to get answers. You don't sit around and do nothing and let a facility get built and then call in a task force afterwards," said Medley.
"I did what was required. I contacted the task force to see if those were bingo machines or slot machines. We would have had an answer already if that search warrant would have been executed," said Valeska.
While many budgets are being reduced in this tight economy, Medley says he can save up to $50,000 by cutting travel expenses.
Valeska says he's conservative with his money, but some non-negotiables are equipment and training.
For the full interview with both candidates click on the Political Page.

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