Judge weighing whether to disqualify prosecutors

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Associated Press

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A judge in Frankfort is considering whether prosecutors should be disqualified in multiple cases for having a former public defender working on the staff.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd pledged to rule this week about whether the presence of former public defender Emily Wilkey on Commonwealth Attorney Larry Cleveland's staff amounts to a conflict of interest.

Wilkey moved from defending those charged to prosecuting them in October. The State Journal reported (http://bit.ly/YEQByZ ) public defender Andrew Bowker argued that Wilkey's presence at the prosecution table is a conflict.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Zach Becker said up to six cases could be affected by the ruling.

Shepherd said the ruling will be an interpretation of the law — whether there needs to be evidence of a conflict or if prior substantial involvement is enough.

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Information from: The State Journal, http://www.state-journal.com

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