Macon County State's Attorney Candidates Appear at Forum

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DECATUR - Macon County State's Attorney Candidates appear in Forum at Decatur Public Library. Incumbent Democrat Jay Scott sat shoulder to shoulder with his challenger Republican Dan Hassinger in a candidates forum sponsored by the Decatur Branch of the NAACP at the Decatur Public Library. Both candidates were allowed time for an opening statement, questions from the audience, and a closing statement. Hassinger who is a Decatur native lost to Scott in the 2012 election. Hassinger says he was a police officer for 15 years, eight as a Decatur Police officer. He is currently a criminal defense lawyer in Decatur. He says he decided to run on the encouragement of the community including former employees of Scott's office and wanted to give voters a choice. He accuses Scott of what he calls management practice issues in the office under Scott. Hassinger says he works with clients who can't afford the court diversion program that allows an offender to stay out of jail and avoid a felony conviction off their record. He proposes a sliding scale of income for the diversion program. He also believes the office only needs two full time investigators not four to save taxpayer money. Scott defended his record of convicting violent offenders and diverting non violent offenders and the work of his elder abuse unit. Scott says he works within a tight budget. One thing he wants to do is take a much harder line on heroin dealers through his drug prosecution unit and begin no refusal for repeat and serious dui offenders who refuse to blow in a breathalyzer. He wants to set a program to expedite a blood draw through a search warrant. Scott was first elected to the office in 2012. Hassinger lost to Scott at that time. Meanwhile, Hassinger says his campaign has nothing to do with a petition calling for a special prosecutor to investigate alleged misconduct in office by Scott. Scott says his opponent has no record and this is an attempt to draw attention away from his.

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