Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Attorney General Ken Hodges candidate takes campaign to Rome

Several dozen people got to meet a candidate for state attorney general and receive a preview of Rome City Market on Tuesday evening.

As Ken Hodges greeted people during the evening, they also got to look at the long-anticipated Rome City Market, located at 238 Broad St. Walt Adams, the proprietor of the nearly complete combination of culinary shops and dining, has described the project as being “on the 2-yard line.”

Hodges, who served as district attorney in Dougherty County for 12 years, told the gathering that he’s a strong believer in victims’ rights and the only candidate in the race with prosecutorial experience.

The Democrat said when he took the Dougherty County office in 1996, the county had more pending capital punishment cases than any other county in Georgia, including a man who’d been imprisoned seven years and never gone to trial.

Hodges said he cleared all the pending cases in two years.

He cited a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program as another accomplishment.

“Crimes against children are the most horrific of all. Those that prey on (children) are the worst of the worst.”

But the cases are difficult to prove. Under SANE, trained nurses gather evidence. The successful prosecution rate in child crime cases in Dougherty County had been below 50 percent. After SANE, the rate is now almost 100 percent, Hodges said.

Fighting public corruption is another aspect he would bring to the attorney general’s post, Hodges said. He said that as district attorney he sent an assistant chief of police and “at least a dozen officers” to prison.

Hodges said he also used the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act to prosecute businesses preying on citizens.

“I’m clearly the most qualified candidate. I’ve been a prosecutor most of my career,” Hodges said.

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