Why are you running for office?
I have worked in Hancock County since 1988 as a private attorney, chief deputy prosecutor and judge. The welfare of its citizens through the legal process is my life’s work. Since Nov. 1, 2009, I have served as part of the full-time Hancock County judiciary as a court commissioner. Gov. Eric Holcomb appointed me Hancock Circuit Court judge on Dec. 8, 2017, upon Judge Richard Culver’s retirement. Through the experience of working and learning from judges Culver, Snow and Marshall, I have decided to continue their excellence as part of the judiciary.
What makes you a qualified candidate for the position?
As circuit court judge, I am doing the important work of the job right now and carrying its responsibilities. I have presided over jury trials previously as a judge in both criminal and civil cases. I have tried cases both as a prosecutor and defense attorney in Hancock County, which I believe is an important prerequisite to being a judge. I currently preside over the Hancock County Drug Court, so I am dealing firsthand with the drug crisis affecting our county, state and nation. Additionally, I have more than 150 hours of judicial education through the Indiana Judicial Conference.
What are your top three goals for the position?
1. Stress rehabilitation for drug addicts through our successful Drug Court and Heroin Protocol programs. I have and will continue to sentence drug dealers to the Indiana Department of Correction; however, I will deal with each criminal case individually. My goal is to lessen demand for drugs and end the supply of drugs in Hancock County.
2. In family law and CHINS (Child in Need of Services) cases, apply the law to the facts of the situation and focus on the welfare and best interest of children preliminarily.
3. Streamline and expedite the estate and probate process, allowing the role of the court commissioner to expand in this area, having direct initial contact with the attorney and parties when necessary.
What specialty courts do you think are needed to serve Hancock County offenders?
My goal is to further integrate into our Drug Court, mental health concerns and veterans in our existing programs. We have integrated both needs in the past with our Drug Court team with great success. We always have to be concerned with costs and regulations with these matters. State Sen. Mike Crider is a great resource in these matters, and I will work with him in ensuring the very best for Hancock County.
Are bail amounts in Hancock County set fairly, and would you consider modifications to alleviate overcrowding in the county jail?
To both questions, I would answer yes. Bail as currently implemented in all three courts of Hancock County accounts for the safety of the community in addition to the rights of the defendant and the jail population issues. These factors are especially important in circuit court as we have the more violent and serious crimes.
Name: Scott Sirk
Office sought: Hancock Circuit Court Judge
Occupation: Hancock Circuit Court Judge
Political experience: None
Family: Wife Diane, three children