Over the past few days, a few individuals with a political axe to grind against David Kolbe have tried to diminish his record as the Kosciusko County Prosecutor. In reality, Kolbe was one of the best prosecutors Kosciusko County has ever had, or will ever have in the future. The initiatives that Kolbe proposed, often with stiff opposition, made our county a safer place to live.
During his four years in office, Kolbe cracked down on deadbeat dads and recovered over $3.3 million to mothers in 1997, an increase of $1.9 million from 1994, the year before he was elected. Kolbe also worked with community businesses to fight check fraud and to recoup funds that would have otherwise been lost.
In 1993, only $176,000 was returned to local merchants from customers who wrote bad checks. By 1997, that figure more than doubled under Kolbe’s leadership to $361,000. Furthermore, Kolbe sponsored an ordinance that was eventually approved by the commissioners, whereby a $20 fee would be added to any bad check written, and all revenue would go directly to the county general fund.
Kolbe understands that there are alternative ways for local governments to raise revenue, without raising taxes on hardworking middle class citizens, a trait that will serve our district well in the state legislature.
Kolbe also decreased court costs by implementing a deferral program for low level non-violent offenders. This program is still in use today and has prevented many young people who may have made a mistake from having a criminal record for the rest of their lives.
Although some have made accusations that Kolbe was soft on crime, the data simply does not back up this assertion. Violent crime prosecutions increased significantly during the Kolbe years. During his first year in office alone, felony prosecutions went from 282 in 1994 to 572 in 1995.
To combat drunk driving deaths, it was Prosecutor Kolbe’s policy that all second and subsequent drunk driving offenses be tried as felonies.
Having served as a defense attorney prior to his election and the subsequent 15 years since leaving office, Kolbe understood that every accused person has rights. For this reason, Kolbe not only was tough on crime, but also respected the rule of law to ensure that none of these individuals could get off on a technicality.
Although a few bad eggs have came forward to distort his record, most officers welcomed Kolbe’s initiatives and his actions were remembered by the Fraternal Order of Police.
In their endorsement press release the association stated, “Seldom do we find a candidate of your caliber who has the leadership and integrity to carry out the duties as State Representative – District 22, for the great State of Indiana, your support and commitment to Indiana Law Enforcement has not gone unnoticed.”
Please remember the facts when you vote, and when you do, choose boldly, vote Kolbe!