Friday, August 11, 2000

Buring picked for state award

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Don Buring was named a co-winner Thursdayof one of the highest awards a state prosecutor can receive in Kentucky.

        Mr. Buring and Lewis County Commonwealth Attorney Lloyd Spear received the 2000 Outstanding Commonwealth Attorney Award from Attorney General Ben Chandler during the annual Kentucky Prosecutors Conference in Lexington.

        Mr. Chandler said Mr. Buring received the award for his long service as a prosecutor — 16 years as commonwealth attorney and five years as an assistant commonwealth attorney — and because of recent work he has done in conjunction with the attorney general's office.

        “Don is an aggressive, hardworking prosecutor who, in addition to his personal trial schedule, manages a 14-member staff in the state's third largest judicial circuit,” Mr. Chandler said in a statement.

        Mr. Buring's office is working with the attorney general's office on investigations into allegations against public officials in two Kenton County cities: Ludlow and Villa Hills.

        But the Republican running against Mr. Buring this fall said the award smacks of political cronyism.

        Both Mr. Buring and Mr. Chandler are Democrats, pointed out Republican Bill Crockett, chief assistant prosecutor in the Kenton County attorney's office.

        “I am shocked by this blatant political move,” Mr. Crockett said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “The selection of Mr. Buring is a clear and obvious move on the part of Chandler and the Democratic machine to claim victory for one of their own.

        “I trust the voters to see through this charade,” he said.

        Julie Steers, Mr. Buring's campaign spokeswoman, said she is not surprised by Mr. Crockett's comments.

        “What else can he say?” Ms. Steers said. “We're flattered that Bill Crockett thinks Don Buring has so much power as to influence the attorney general.”

        “Any claims that these awards are political in nature are untrue,” said Corey Bellamy, spokesman for the attorney general's office. “These awards have been given to both Democrats and Republicans across the state.”


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