With this in mind, iSurf News got in contact with both of the Hopkins County Attorney candidates—prospective County Attorney, John C. Whitfield, and incumbent candidate, County Attorney Todd P’Pool—and asked them an identical set of questions to find out more.  

What follows are the responses of Hopkins County Attorney candidate, John C. Whitfield.

As to why John C. Whitfield initially chose to run for election as the Hopkins County Attorney, he explained that, “I have been practicing law since 1983, and have been blessed to represent people of many walks of life who legitimately need help. It has been an honor to represent these people. During the past few years, some of my clients have had a difficult time with the Hopkins County Attorney’s Office ranging from collection of child support to criminal matters. This pattern of neglect repeated itself with some of my clients, and when I started looking into why my clients were having such difficulty, I learned that there were many deficiencies in that office that needed correction. Being that I am older (53), and my caseload has gotten much more selective, I determined that I needed to run for this office in order to correct the deficiencies that my clients experienced, but also to give something back to the community that I was born and raised in, and that has been so good to me. I therefore decided to run.”

When asked to give a general overview of what the position of Hopkins County Attorney entails from his perspective, such as the abilities and responsibilities that come along with the position, Whitfield said that, “The position from my perspective is one of service to the community, first and foremost. The County Attorney probably sees more people in Hopkins County than any other county office, and as such, service, and the willingness to listen to the needs of Hopkins Countians is paramount. The office specifically deals with collection of child support; bad checks; prosecution of criminal matters; and representation of Hopkins County in miscellaneous legal matters. It is not an office for the feign of heart, as it requires hard work; attention to a litany of different legal matters; and the willingness to tackle tough legal matters without the influence of politics.

“Serving as the attorney for Hopkins County's residents often requires one to decline to accept a private case that may prove to be in conflict with the interests of the county. I currently have fewer than five such cases in my private practice that will require me to step aside from representing the county should a conflict develop. If elected county attorney on November 2nd, I will immediately decline to accept private cases that appear to be in conflict with the best interests of the county. Obviously, if elected I will resign my position as city attorney for the people of Nortonville. My first priority will be to represent the residents of Hopkins County.”

When asked a little bit about what his personal background was, such as where he was born, what school he went to, what his hobbies are, and more, Whitfield explained that, “I was born in Madisonville, Kentucky on September 2, 1957, the second child of five of Carl and Mary Whitfield. I graduated in 1975 from Madisonville North Hopkins High School and in 1979 from the University of Kentucky (with Distinction) with a B.A. in History. In 1982 I graduated from the University of Kentucky School of Law and then began my career as an attorney in Madisonville. I am member of the Kentucky and American Bar Associations, the American and Kentucky Associations for Justice; and am admitted to practice law in the United States District Courts of the Western and Eastern District of Kentucky and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. I am certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and have obtained an ‘A’ (Preeminent) rating with the 2 Martindale Hubble Attorney Rating system. I have practiced law throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and numerous states as well, both in state and federal trial and appellate courts.

“I am married to Phyllis Whitfield and we have 5 beautiful children. Phyllis and I enjoy the outdoors and traveling, and I personally enjoy riding my Harley motorcycle, and am a proud member of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club, the largest law abiding motorcycle club in the country.”

In regards to future goals, iSurf News asked Whitfield what some of his primary objectives for Hopkins County are and/or what his platform consists of, to which he replied, “It is my belief that politics has permeated the Hopkins County Attorney’s Office. I am an attorney not a politician, and have as my primary objective to restore the office back to the peopleof the county without regard to political influences. Being so, the office needs to be straight and upfront with the child support effort which has not been the case. Accessibility within the current County Attorney office is poor, as the County Attorney needs to be hands on with the people that he is elected to represent. I intend to change that. The prosecution of criminal cases needs to be aggressive, yet fair, and must be done without regard to race, creed, or background; and it must be competent. Finally, the County Attorney must be loyal to the County first, and to his private interests second, which I believe not to be the case currently.”

When asked what he sees as his qualifications for this position, Whitfield stated that, “I am qualified as I come into this never having run a political race before. As noted, I am a trial attorney and not a politician which gives me the unique perspective of running the office competently and efficiently without regard to the politics of my decision. I also am unafraid to make the tough calls that need to be made when representing the county. I have successfully litigated scores of complex, yet demanding cases that many attorneys would not touch. Some of these cases include representing 5 estates of the Pyro Mine Disaster in 1989; representing thousands of victims of defective heart valves against Pfizer drug company; representing hundreds of homeowners who purchased defective concrete for companies in western Kentucky; to currently acting as class co‐counsel in one of the largest consumer tax class actions in the United States.

“It is this steadfast belief in the cause of the less fortunate and the courage to take on large entities to correct the wrong that makes me uniquely qualified for this position.”

In conclusion, iSurf News offered Whitfield the opportunity to say whatever he wanted want to the people of the Hopkins County region.

What follows is his reply:

“I am an honest, hard working trial attorney that will never permit politics to permeate my decisions. I will take the tough prosecutions and will make the difficult calls in representation of my client that need to be made, without any concern as to the politics of this representation. I will restore the competency, transparency, and accessibility to the Hopkins County Attorney office that it sorely lacks now. I will admit my mistakes, and strive to work harder to correct them. Most importantly, I will never forget who my client is.”

Luke Short
iSurf News




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Posted on 2/2/14
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