Michael Griffin, Brent Eaton criticize each other's credentials


GREENFIELD — A familiar campaign issue has cropped up again in the race for Hancock County prosecutor.

As incumbent Michael Griffin and challenger Brent Eaton prepare to square off for a second time in the Republican primary, Eaton is raising concerns about Griffin’s experience in the courtroom.

It’s the same argument Eaton, a private defense attorney, made in 2010 when he and Griffin ran for the office along with then-incumbent Dean Dobbins. At the time, Eaton, who ultimately came in second, accused Griffin of having too little experience to lead the prosecutor’s office.

“It’s just as true now as it was then,” Eaton said. “If there was somebody in there that was, in my opinion, doing a great job, and things were working well, … I wouldn’t run.”

Griffin also is taking a similar tack to one he employed in 2010: Eaton, by virtue of his work as a defense attorney, is ill-equipped to be a prosecutor, Griffin says.

The dueling criticisms have forced both candidates to tout their experience. Griffin argues his office has increased the number of prosecutions and that his role as an elected official requires him to fulfill many other duties outside the courtroom. Eaton points to prior experience as a deputy prosecutor in Marion and Hancock counties and says his workload proves he can do the job.

Griffin, who was a civil attorney before he was elected, contends that since he took office in 2010, he has been steadily building his resume, overseeing more than 200 felony cases as well as spearheading various community initiatives.

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