The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 28, 2012

Election 2012: Q&A with county circuit court clerk candidate Brad Curnutt

The News Courier

Name: Brad Curnutt

Age: 43

Occupation: Law enforcement (lieutenant investigator)

Education: 1987 graduate of Athens High School; 1992 graduate of Calhoun Community College, Associate of Science Degree; police science

Previous Political Experience: None

Community involvement: Former board member of the Athens-Limestone Child Advocacy Center, former member of the Multi-Disciplinary Team (Child Protection Team) and deacon serving in men's ministry.

Personal: I am married to Paula Bates Curnutt and we have one daughter, Madison Curnutt, 15. Paula is employed as a registered nurse supervisor at Limestone County Home Health, and Madison attends Clements High School.

The News Courier: Do you feel your political party affiliation has any bearing on the duties of a circuit court clerk? Why or why not?

Brad Curnutt: No, I don't believe that my political party affiliation has any bearing on the duties of the circuit court clerk. I am a Republican and my beliefs will not have any effect on how I will serve each citizen when they come to the clerk's office. I will treat each person equal and fair.

NC: Budget limitations in the state’s court system have led to cutbacks in staff and hours at the Limestone County Courthouse. What specific plans do you have to keep the circuit clerk’s office running efficiently with fewer resources?

Curnutt: I plan on learning each division and working with and along side the staff in each division. I hope to implement more electronic filing, which will considerably cut down the time of handling paper files. I'm hopeful to implement a more useful website for the public to access forms and information.

With such a short staff, I feel that I need to implement as much public access as possible. This is the electronic age, but I am well aware that I need to be a servant and accessible to the public. I still plan to have an open-door policy.

NC: What do you feel are the primary duties of the circuit court clerk and why do you feel you are qualified to carry out those duties? Please be specific.

Curnutt: The clerk issues criminal misdemeanor and felony warrants, issues subpoenas, collects fines for traffic and hunting offenses, jury orientation, processes protection from abuse orders, oversees applications for passports and is responsible for absentee voting.

The clerk deals with divorces, child support modifications and the clerk must know the laws and keep up with the changes. As an investigator, I had to do the same. The clerk must be on call 24 hours each day, a demanding schedule that I am very familiar with because of my career in law enforcement.

The clerk must be able to interpret and follow the judge’s orders. I have helped numerous victims of criminal, civil and domestic cases over my career and many of these were very tough situations. This experience developed decision making skills that is required of the clerk.

NC: Explain why voters should choose you as license commissioner over your opponent.

Curnutt: I have served the citizens of Limestone County faithfully over the past 18 years by working cases day and night, on weekends and during holidays. Your next clerk must be available 24/7 and that's a lifestyle I've been living for years.

My involvement in law enforcement has given me the experience to work hand in hand with many divisions of the court system such as the district attorney, probation and parole, juvenile probation, Community Corrections and DHR.

The clerk must know the laws to help citizens as they come to the clerk's office with a problem. I have the background to help you when you come to the clerk's office with a problem. I will be able to advise you how to handle and resolve your situations.

I fully understand that both sides need to be heard and treated fairly. I have worked very hard during this campaign and will continue to work this hard when elected circuit court clerk.