Roger Harris is seeking another term as the Gage County attorney in the 2018 election.
Harris filed on Tuesday for a third term after being first elected in 2010.
Harris is a registered Republican, and is currently the only candidate to file for the position.
He said continuing to work with law enforcement to address drugs and related issues in Gage County is one reason he’s seeking another term, as well as working with juveniles.
“One particular emphasis when I came in was to work with juveniles to continue preventative measures such as diversion to keep juveniles out of the court system as much as possible,” he said. “We have a good relationship with the schools regarding truancy issues and delinquency to address that.”
Harris added that working with Gage County MAPS and diversion services has been beneficial.
As county attorney, Harris deals primarily with criminal cases originating from arrests made by area departments, as well as the Nebraska State Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service.
Harris said there are several factors that come into play when prosecuting a criminal case which people may not be aware of. These factor can determine if a defendant will be offered a plea deal as opposed to a jury trial.
“First and foremost, and a lot of people don’t want to admit it, but the system will break down if everything goes to trial,” he said. “There aren’t enough courtrooms or judges to handle the situation.”
Another factor is consideration for the victims. Harris said many victims of domestic violence will ultimately not want charges pressed against the accused, making it difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute.
Taking a case to trial would also put added stress on the victims in a case, which the office tries to avoid.
“The victims were traumatized once by defendant,” Harris said. “When they give testimony and show evidence at trial, they’re traumatized again. That’s something we have to weigh heavily as far as prosecuting.”
Harris also addressed the ongoing Beatrice 6 legal saga currently making its way through the court system.
The county has hired outside attorneys who work with Harris and the County Board.
“I’m basically a conduit with the board and attorneys that represent the county on that,” he said. “It’s one of those things that’s been on everybody’s mind since the original judgment was entered. I hope a lot of people understand this is something nobody could have predicted or foreseen when this thing first came about. The board is working the best they can to prepare for whatever happens from the eighth circuit. It is time-consuming and weighs on everybody’s mind.”
Eddie Dorn also filed recently, and he is seeking the district 1 seat on the County Board of Supervisors. Dorn, of Filley, is a registered Republican and the first to file for the position. Current district 1 representative Myron Dorn announced last year he will be seeking the district 30 seat of the Nebraska State Legislature.
District 1 represents the general northeastern portion of Gage County. A district map can be found online at www.gagecountynebraska.us.