GOP taps Hathaway for old post

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December 22, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Come meet the new boss — same as the old.
Former Allen County Attorney Jerry Hathaway earned the endorsement Sunday of local Republicans to refill his old position over the  next two years.
Of the 36 voting delegates at Sunday’s GOP caucus, 25 favored Hathaway to fill the unexpired term of Wade Bowie, who announced his resignation earlier this month. Bowie will return to his native Michigan.
The county’s recommendation goes to Gov. Sam Brownback, who will make the formal appointment.
Hathaway originally came to Allen County in 2002 as assistant county attorney under Nan Webber before being elected county attorney in 2004. He subsequently was re-elected in 2008 before resigning in January 2011 to move to Springfield, Mo.
There — in addition to getting married — Hathaway became a senior assistant prosecuting attorney in the major crimes unit for Green County for about two years.
“I didn’t necessarily retire,” Hathaway said. “I just had an opportunity to do other things.”
Most recently, Hathaway has provided prosecutorial services on a special needs basis throughout Kansas. That is, if a county has conflicting interests in a case, it would bring in Hathaway as a special prosecutor to handle a case.
Hathaway noted he hired Bowie as his assistant before Bowie filled Hathaway’s old role.
“With the situation I’m in, I work a little bit, and I have the time to be able to come back to a place I enjoyed so much,” Hathaway said. “I know everybody. I know the officers, I know the deputies.”
Hathaway said he planned only to fill the remaining two years of Bowie’s term. He did not plan to seek re-election in 2016, “although you never say never.”
Instead, his highest priority is to ensure a seamless transition.
Not only is Allen County losing Bowie, he noted, but Assistant County Attorney Chris Phelan also is leaving to become Coffey County attorney.
“What I would hope to do, and I got real lucky with it last time, is to be able to bring a good assistant in here and train them, and have them so they, and whoever, can run (for election) in 2016,” he continued. “I’d like to have this seamless transition from Wade the last two years.
“This job, the Allen County attorney’s job, means something to me,” Hathaway said. “This is family, in a way. I will definitely devote all the time it needs. My wife and I talked quite a bit the past few days. She understands why it’s important to me, and how it’s important to me. She’s fully supportive.”
The local Republican committee picked Hathaway over three other candidates: Jill Gillette and David Clark, Chanute, and Darrell Smith, Olathe.
Precinct members interviewed each for about 30 minutes before their private vote.
Hathaway said he intends to keep the same office workers.
“Wade has run that place the last four years in a fantastic manner,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it’s running pretty well. I don’t see needing much change, but I’m always willing to listen to what other people have to say.”
Hathaway said he does not have a candidate for assistant county attorney in mind. He will reach out to University of Kansas and Washburn law schools placement services to interview candidates soon.

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