Starke County Prosecutor Faces Unique Situation

Nicholas Bourff

New Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff is facing a ticklish situation as he is getting his feet on the ground in the office. His Chief Deputy, Todd Wallsmith, cannot appear before Judge Kim Hall in Starke Circuit Court. That is because Judge Hall is Wallsmith’s uncle. So, how does the new Prosecutor plan to work around this obstacle?

“There are some issues there,” said Bourff. “It’s going to take some work and some creativity on my part to make that work, but there are a lot of cases that get handled in the City Court here in Knox and those are cases that are dealt with County-wide. Todd can handle any case that is dealt with there.”

Bourff said another problem is that he and Mr. Wallsmith have conflicts with defendants they’ve represented in the past and could be prosecuted in the future.

“There will be some cases where I’m going to have to have a special Prosecutor brought in because Todd and I have both handled quite a few criminal defense cases over the past few years. Regardless of Todd’s conflict of interest with Judge Hall, we’re going to have to bring in some special Prosecutors to deal with some of the cases, at least in the first year or two.”

But in the end, the new Prosecutor thinks it will all work out.

“I do think there is way that we can file cases in Circuit Court and let the Court know that Todd has no supervision or authority over any other Prosecutor in the office so at least the other Deputy Prosecutors, and myself, can handle cases in Circuit Court.”