After 16 Years The County Has A New District Attorney

 

January 10, 2019

Photo provided

Above new District Attorney Allan Grubb celebrates with his family after his official swearing in pictured at the right. From left daughter Skylar, wife Pamela, Allan, daughters Presley and Piper Grubb.

On Monday the new Pottawatomie and Lincoln County District Attorney, Allan Grubb, was officially sworn into office.

"I am so grateful to be sworn in as your new district attorney," said Grubb. "It is an exciting time in Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties. I have hired very experienced local attorneys, and we are taking a fresh look at how we can make our communities safe again.

"There are plenty of challenges and opportunities ahead of us," he said. "We look forward to working hand in hand with local law enforcement agencies and providing strong criminal justice leadership. Thank you for your confidence. I can't wait to get to work for you."

The Countywide & Sun sat down with DA Grubb last Friday to discuss his plans and goals. Grubb said his goal is to "increase public safety and prosecute real crime that I believe needs to be prosecuted and has been put on the back burner for a number of years; real crime as in burglary and property crime.

"If you pull sex offense cases, I think about, a little over 50 percent go back to the community straight away with a suspended or deferred sentence," said Grubb. "I'm not going to allow probation for sex offenders. Violent crime will be prosecuted heavier than it already is.


"The property crime leads to, I believe, more of the violent crime," continued Grubb. "It puts people in situations where they have to protect themselves. It encourages a vigilante mentality in the community and that needs to be diminished.

"As a community, we need more of a sense of safety and I don't think either county has that right now, especially when it comes to property crime," said Grubb. "In the past couple of weeks we've had two robberies at gunpoint of women in affluent areas. I believe all that feeds back to the types of crimes that have been prosecuted and the way they've been prosecuted.

"My eventual goal is to get to where we have an extremely effective supervision program for our probationers," continued Grubb. "A really speedy goal is six months but it is probably more like a year's goal."

Grubb said the out-of-custody cases are extremely far behind, two to five years behind. He says it will take three or four months to catch up on the filing of those cases. He states this is "problematic because those are the very types of cases I'm talking about. If you don't file them, nothing appears to be done with those."

The previous "administration focused on drugs because they're easy," said Grubb. "Just because something is easy doesn't mean it is the best solution. That's why I've hired experienced prosecutors. Out of all the prosecutors I've hired, there is only one with less than 10-years experience. Most are in the 20-year range and some are in the 30-year range.


"I know that many law offices hire people straight out of law school and that's not my intent," said Grubb. "The life experiences help more than anything in that role because as we age we realize that people make mistakes. There is a difference between somebody who made a criminal mistake and a criminal, and we need to treat it as such."

Grubb said he sees a lot of changes on the domestic violence side. "Under the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) grant, the district attorney cannot make the victim testify or we lose the federal funding. Currently the district attorney allows the victims to decide whether or not to proceed with the charge," said Grubb. "I think that is dangerous for the victim. I think it is bad for the community.

"For example, I think the average is seven to eight times a victim goes back to their abuser. If you give the victim the choice without other sources of information to prosecute the crime, they will probably go back to their abuser and request that you drop the charges. That increases the violence each time. It also puts pressure where the abuser feels like they can control the situation by punishing the victim. I am not going to do that. I think that is a bad idea.


"I am going to prosecute based on evidence, emergency evidence like 911 tapes, police statements, recordings at the scene and confessions. I don't believe my office should increase the pressure on the victim by the perpetrator having influence over the victim and the victim feeling like they can make the decision to dismiss it. I just see how that is problematic and has been problematic. That has to change. The current system increases the danger to the victim.

"Every time you dismiss against one of those abusers that emboldens them to do it again," said Grubb. "While the current regime has looked at that victim as the only victim, society is a victim. When they finally do make a break that person is now embolden to go beat his next victim, or worse. It just escalates. If you don't hold them accountable and get them help, the system helps perpetrate itself.

"We've seen an increase in violence in this county and Lincoln County. We've seen an increase in not just partner on partner violence, but also the partner on family violence," continued Grubb.

"One of the falsehoods that was spun during the campaign is there is nobody that has been sent to prison for first time possession," said Grubb. "They are still prosecuting people for first time possession who committed the crime prior to 780 and 781. There are still warrants out for people for first time possession. They are still sending them to prison for ten years. I do want to undo some of that. On a level of criminality, somebody that is willing to cross the line and go into somebody's house and rob them deserves to go to prison.

"Somebody that simply possesses a substance, while it is a crime, we do not need to put them in prison," said Grubb. "We need to get them help for addiction and do assessments. We need to make sure they are doing what they need to do to clean up their act. We need to keep them in the community, working, making money and taking care of their own kids to build our community up instead of creating a generational problem of criminality. Once you make somebody a felon for low-level crimes, it ruins their whole family for the future. In a large majority of the cases it is perpetual, multi-generational, not just the next generation.

"Scott Raybern, beginning Monday will be my juvenile attorney," said Grubb. "He helped write 10A which is the juvenile code so he knows the intent. He created it. He was also the juvenile crimes prosecutor for Cleveland County. He will be the one in the courtroom in Lincoln and Pottawatomie County. We've had such a problem with divergence between the two DHS offices and divergence in the way they are prosecuted in both counties and I want to stabilize that and put continuity.

"I don't like to see a worker go out in one county and take kids because there is marijuana in the house and in the other county they will see meth in the house and leave the kids there. That to me is ridiculous. There needs to be continuity.

"My directive to him (Raybern) is they have 12 months. If they can't clean up their act in twelve months he is to take all efforts to terminate their rights," said Grubb. "I directly worked in that system my first ten years of practice. I'm probably one of the few in the state that has had children out of home 84 months. That's a long time before they get them to terminate. I do not view that as a positive thing. There needs to be stability for the kids."

"I've had foster parents get up on the stand and talk about how they can't stand the children that they have and they lock themselves in the bathroom while a 3-year-old runs around the house because they can't supervise them and they can't emotionally deal with them. So they curl up in a fetal position and DHS in Lincoln County would not remove the children from the foster home. I personally will hold workers accountable. You will probably see a change in the way they do business with them knowing I will not hesitate to file charges against workers who don't do their job.

"Because of my civil experience, because of my life experience and because of representing victims of domestic violence, helping them rebuild their lives through divorces, protective orders; seeing what services they need, I think I have a better grasp of what we need to do as a community to fix some of these problems.

"Law enforcement are great resources and I've come to realize they will focus with whatever is being prosecuted," said Grubb. "So they're going to go out and bust their rear to pop simple drug dealers if that's where the focus of prosecution is. If we're focusing on property crimes they're going to work their rear off to catch the people that are breaking into peoples' houses. They're going to work there to stop the people who are holding people at gunpoint. They focus with what gets prosecuted because they get frustrated with the domestics when more than 60 to 70 percent gets dismissed.

"It's never just one. It's always two because those are some of the most dangerous calls law enforcement can answer to," continued Grubb. "Us actually prosecuting those cases, to me, respects the lives of law enforcement. When you dismiss 70 percent of them you're not respecting the law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line to respond to that situation. I think that once a lot of these policies are rolled out, once we are able to do these the right way everybody will be safer in the long run.

"That's my goal," said Grubb. "Public safety. I have three daughters, a wife and a mom that live in this community. And I want my kids to feel like they can come back here and raise their children. Right now they're scared to go to Wal-Mart; they're scared to go to the mall. I have a 15-year-old that's scared to go to the movies by herself.

"My opponent did make this statement in the PAVE forum, that he is not responsible for the public's safety," said Grubb. "The DAs office is where the public's safety begins and ends. If you're not holding the right people accountable you're allowing that type of crime to propagate. By God that does start and stop with my rear!"

Photo provided

Newly elected District Attorney Allan Grubb

 

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