The final person to be seeking the Scott County States Attorney’s office in 2020 is trying to fulfill a lifelong dream of representing her home. Bethany Doolin announced Tuesday last week that she will be seeking the office after current State’s Attorney Michael Hill’s term is up next year.
Doolin says that being a criminal lawyer is always something she’s wanted to do. She says the Scott County State’s Attorney’s office is the impetus for her entire reason of going to law school. “The decision to run for Scott County State’s Attorney was an easy one to make. Scott County is home. I grew up here. My daughters will grow up here. I’ve always wanted to represent the people of Scott County as their State’s Attorney. It’s the very reason I became a lawyer. It’s that desire that’s really fueled and guided my legal career. Actually, my very first internship was with the Scott County State’s Attorney’s office. Criminal law has always been my main focus and it’s my passion.”
Doolin received her law degree from St. Louis University in 2013 and began her private practice in Winchester shortly after. She handles criminal cases and juvenile cases, including delinquency and abuse with the Department of Child and Family Services, as well as civil law cases in her private practice.
Doolin details some of her experiences in the courtroom. “I have experience on both sides of the courtroom. I have worked for a public defender’s office in Missouri and the State’s Attorney’s office in Madison County, Illinois. Madison County is obviously a much larger county than Scott. At times, we handled hundreds of cases a day. I had to learn quickly and I had to work even quicker. I believe in order to be successful as Scott County State’s Attorney, it’s essential to understand both sides of the case. With my experience, I believe I can do that. I intend to use that experience to seek the justice that our community desires and to do my part in keeping our community a safe place to raise all of our families.”
Doolin says how she will handle the methamphetamine epidemic in the region. “Really maintaining a good working relationship with our local law enforcement officers and the State Police as well as the State Police Taskforce – that is what’s really critical in meth cases. Then, once we get inside the courtroom, there are always other issues that we deal with that go hand-in-hand with those drug cases, and those issues have to be addressed, too. One of those main issues is addiction. It’s really a root problem that can’t be ignored, and thankfully, we do have resources and options available to help those dealing with that problem.”
Doolin says working with the state police, other attorneys will be how she’ll handle marijuana expungement cases next year and that she’s not opposed to setting up a Veteran’s Court in the county as long as it’s done in a cost-effective manner. Doolin along with Rick Crews and John Paul Coonrod will be seeking the nomination in the April consolidated election for the office next year.