The Carmi Kiwanis Club held its regularly scheduled noon meeting on June 6, 2019 at the White County Farm Bureau Building. Club President Katelyne Wolff opened the meeting with the Kiwanis Creed, Song, Pledge and Prayer. The 50/50 drawing was won by Art Saunders but was not able to pull the or- ange ball for the $65.00. Jim Davis won the $10.00 Huck’s gas card. Guests of the club meeting were Don Puckett, Chairman of the White County Board of Supervisors, Anna Baumgart, Banterra bank, Abbey Gholson, First Bank, Doug Greenfield, ERA realtor from Evansville, and Brett Vaughn, McLeansboro. Good News was given by Doug Greenfield, military veteran, saluting all veterans and the veterans of WW II for the bravery on the 75th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy, France, Andrea Hays on the first entry for Kiwanis Corn Day Chili Cook Off, Art Saunders on the successful retired teachers Pork burger lunch held on June 1st, Amy McCarty on the planting of the 4-H Garden, Justin Dartt on the Chamber of Commerce golf outing on June 22nd and asking for players and sponsors for the event, Clint Taylor on his successful fishing trip but not so on the day of the fishing tournament, Denton Aud on the GOP golf outing on June 15th sponsored by the White County Republican Party.
In club business, President Wolff reminded that a board meeting is June 12th at Dartt and Company and there are 128 days to Corn Days 2019.
Club President Katelyne Wolff introduced the program speaker, Denton Aud, White States Attorney. Denton is a graduate of Carmi-White High-school, a graduate of Murray State University with a degree in Political Science and his law degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He started his private law practice in 2008 and then later appointed as Assistant States Attorney under Scott Webb. He was elected to White County States Attorney in 20012 when Scott Webb was elected to a circuit judge seat and re-elected in 2016. Denton stated that he has two great and ‘cannot say enough’ great words about two mentors, Mark Stanley and Scott Webb. Both men provided him the ‘outstanding’ direction, humility and knowledge to better serve the people of White County and uphold and defend the constitution. They emphasized that it is better to seek justice and not just to convict but work to make peoples lives better. He stated that the office is to prosecute the offender but hopefully in the end that their lives will turn around and be better citizens. In his philosophy as an elected official, he takes his time to fully analyze the situation, the case, the people affected before making a statement on the matter.
He stated that the job is not about me and that the office was before me and it will be after me so while in the office to do the work the right way. He indicated that White County case load in 2018 led over 240 cases being in the third to fifth caseload volume in the 12 counties in this circuit. The two largest counties being Jefferson and Franklin. Cases that he has led in the time in office have been trials for murder, sexual assault, drug and meth dealers and users, burglary, and assault cases.
He spoke of even the funniest things that the defendant will say in court in front of the judge which brought laughter to the club and guests.
Denton spoke highly of the past and present elected officials of White County who conduct the daily business. He is very appreciative of the Kelly Fulkerson White County Circuit Clerk who handles the work that comes from the court room. He said even from the 6 years being in office that the most dramatic changes to the court system is the electronic changes. He said that he likes to handle paper but now it is all computers and the digital information from the filings, court room, the judges, the attorneys, to the Circuit Clerk’s office. He said that the court has systems in place for ‘court call’ where the defendant remains in the jail and speaks with the court.
Denton stated that he recently testified before the legislative judiciary committee and spoke of the changes in law and how it has made the States Attorney office work to handle the changes in the laws of the State of Illinois. He said that he spoke openly about both what he agreed with and those laws that he did not agree with on the respective changes to the committee. He mentioned the cannabis legalization and meth prosecutions.
Denton has a good working relationship with State Representative Darren Bailey and State Senator Dale Righter and both have the interest of Southern Illinois and are reaching out to the people.
Denton concluded his presentation with questions on guns laws, FOID registration his thanks to the community for their support.