State's Attorney: Hickman, Holmes or Barnes?

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 30, 1994

I want to write to express my support for Tom Hickman and his staff in the state's attorney's office. People do not realize how much Tom has done on behalf of the children of Carroll County.

Children have benefited from the collection efforts of the child support enforcement unit. Last year, $4.7 million was collected. Carroll County ranks number one in Maryland in its successful collection rate.

The Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit developed by Tom Hickman has done wonders to protect our children. Since 1989, child abuse cases reported have doubled. Prosecutions have doubled and convictions have almost quadrupled. Long-term prison sentences have been sought and gotten. Recently, one man was sentenced to 145 years for his abuse of 11 children. Prosecutors in Carroll County have convicted 22 pedophiles in the last two years. . . . The juvenile court prosecutor handled 363 cases last year alone. Many of those cases dealt with the problem of school truancy. Keeping kids in school is in everyone's best interest. When kids stay in school, they are better off for a lifetime. When they are truant, our community suffers the losses of juvenile crimes such as breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property. Our community is safer due to these efforts.

I urge you to write in your vote of confidence and support for

Tom Hickman.

Dick Simmons

Westminster

The writer is with the Carroll County public schools' pupil services department.

I am writing in response to the Oct. 16 letter of John D. Myers Jr. Mr. Myers inadvertently failed to mention the name of the "third candidate" in the state's attorney's race. Linda Holmes, the Democratic candidate for state's attorney, not only has a name but has a name she can be proud of. Linda is a terrific lawyer with a solid legal background. She has been a staff attorney with the federal government, where she functioned as an administrative law judge in enforcement proceedings against some of the country's biggest oil companies. Her office recovered millions of dollars in restitution to the American taxpayer. She has also worked for a Fortune 500 corporation, and in private practice as well. Linda understands the law, and knows how to manage people. . . .

Damian Halstead

Westminster

I am a good Republican. I voted for Tom Hickman in the primary, and I voted for him in the past four elections. However, I cannot write him in for state's attorney in the general election. His write-in campaign is not good for the Republican Party. Nor can I in good conscience vote for Jerry Barnes. In 1990, he abandoned the Republican Party and ran as a Democrat. Now he expects the unwavering support of loyal Republicans. . . . This year, I intend to vote for Linda Holmes, the Democratic candidate. I know her to be a good lawyer. She is a conservative, no-nonsense, hard-working person who would be an excellent state's attorney. I would much rather vote for a Democrat who has integrity than a Republican who lacks it.

Dave Brown

Westminster

Tom Hickman and his handful of supporters are proving to be a pathetic bunch. They complain that they were too busy . . . forgot to vote . . . had something else to do during the primary . . . then want us to return their failed prosecutor to office by writing in his name on Nov. 8. Maybe we should just keep holding elections until their candidate wins. Best three out of five? Seven out of 10?

For some time now, Hickman's office has operated under one cloud after the other. He is a braggart when things go his way, but blames everybody under the sun when they don't. Tom Hickman gave us the debacle involving Jeff Griffith several years ago, a lack of responsiveness to legitimate calls for an audit of his drug unit and much worse.

But the most ominous thing he has left us is a convicted murderer -- James Van Metre. . . . Everybody involved in that horrendous case did their job . . . except Tom Hickman. Mr. Van Metre admitted guilt, asked for the death penalty, and because of Mr. Hickman's arrogance and neglect, the conviction was overturned.

It is time for a change. As a Republican, I favor the party's choice, Jerry Barnes. . . .

Since Mr. Barnes has been a chief narcotics prosecutor with an enviable record of convictions, we can look forward to a well-rounded, effective and cooperative state's attorney's office that puts criminals behind bars and keeps them there. It's about time.

Gene Edwards

Eldersburg

It is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff at election time, and I am afraid Carroll County voters are being duped by money and the media packaging in the state's attorney's race.

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