Two candidates have filed to run for Moniteau County prosecuting attorney — one as Republican nominee and one as a write-in — following the resignation of former Prosecuting Attorney Shayne Healea.
The Moniteau County Republican Central Committee chose Mary Kay Lutz as the Republican candidate for the office in the Nov. 6 general election, and Bryan Wolford filed to run as a write-in candidate.
Healea, who had been set to run unopposed for re-election, resigned Sept. 4 as part of a plea agreement with the Missouri attorney general's office, which served as special prosecutor in Healea's Boone County case from 2014, when he reportedly backed his truck into the wall of a restaurant in Columbia then pulled away from the parking lot. The agreement also required Healea to remove his name from the November ballot.
Ann Perry was appointed interim prosecutor Sept. 4 but resigned Sept. 13, citing the demands of her private practice. Derek Spencer was named interim prosecutor soon afterward and will serve until a new prosecutor is sworn in.
The Democratic party chose not to nominate a Moniteau County prosecuting attorney candidate for this election.
Lutz, a 49-year Moniteau County resident, said she hopes to continue work started by Healea.
"The crime level in Moniteau County has increased dramatically, and more serious crimes are being committed every day in our country. Shayne Healea has done a fine job of working with law enforcement and prosecuting these crimes to the fullest. I would like to help continue his policies to ensure the safety of the citizens of Moniteau County," Lutz said. "I know many of the citizens of Moniteau County have the same concerns that I do and I understand that the office serves the people of Moniteau County. I would have an open door policy and would welcome law enforcement and the citizens to come to me with questions, concerns and ideas to improve our county."
Wolford, a 31-year Moniteau County resident, works as Jefferson City's associate counselor and operates a private practice part time. He said he is a Republican and "constitutional conservative."
"In Moniteau County, we have a proactive sheriff's department investigating and arresting criminals for drugs, theft, assault and abuse," Wolford said. "As your prosecutor, I will ensure that these offenders receive justice, that our system is fair and that the citizens of Moniteau County are protected. I am not happy to see generations of family members committing crimes, and I will be tough against anyone making or selling drugs in Moniteau County."
Lutz, who said she has maintained a law practice in Moniteau County for 31 years, believes serious crimes, particularly those involving methamphetamine and violent crimes, have increased in Moniteau County.
"Sheriff Tony Wheatley, the Moniteau County Sheriff's Department, the Tipton and California police departments are all doing a tremendous job and it is up to the prosecutor's office to work closely with law enforcement and to prosecute these crimes to send a clear message that meth and other crimes as well as danger to our law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Moniteau County," she said.
Wolford noted alternative courts as potential opportunities for Moniteau County.
"I understand that certain offenders have issues that are not best served by prison time. Other courts in Missouri have implemented drug, DWI and veterans courts as an alternative for qualified offenders with these unique issues," he said. "To that end, I will work with the judges and prosecutors in the 26th Circuit to study, develop and implement an alternative system for veterans and those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction."