I, and other members of the prosecution team in a recent death penalty trial in Bullitt Circuit Court, (Michael St Clair, Capital Murder) would like to take this opportunity to commend the exceptional service of the Bullitt Circuit Clerk’s Office. Mr. Abell was the consummate professional in all of his duties, as were all of his employees. He often undertook to personally ensure that the trial process ran smoothly. More than that, however, Mr. Abell noticeably went considerably “above and beyond” even the ordinary good service of most Circuit Court Clerks.
As just a few specific examples: (1) all the physical aspects of the courtroom layout and technology were expertly handled, even as the trial attorneys made various demands to rearrange things; (2) the jury summoning and voir dire process was handled with supreme efficiency-probably the best I’ve ever observed (as this involved individual voir dire, the clerks had a clear and workable plan in conjunction with the court and counsel, for scheduling all juors); (3) the exhibits which had been previously entered were handled efficiently, expertly, and with due regard for cataloging them; (4) copies of video proceedings were quickly made available. As a prosecutor and manager of an office that handles cases in venues throughout the entire Commonwealth, I can say this level of service and commitment represented a fine model I would hope all clerks would be eager to emulate. I would expect the defense attorneys in this case would also agree with my assessment.
Unfortunately, with government services so strapped for resources right now, and all of us public servants being harried to provide “more with less,” I think it is easy for me to overlook simple praise where it is obviously due. In speaking with some other local officials about the impressive service offered by Mr. Abell, I asked to whom I may direct a letter of commendation. So please accept this “Letter to the Editor” to the voters of Bullitt County. It is imperative that you retain Layne Abell and his 39 years of experience as your Circuit Court Clerk.
Hon. Todd Lewis
Former Director of Prosecutions
Kentucky Attorney General
Former Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney