Note: This is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily of the Kentucky New Era. Let the community know your opinion about this topic and others by submitting a "Letter to the editor."

In recent weeks, the Kentucky New Era has reported that Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling wrote a letter to former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin advocating for the pardon and commutation of Dayton Jones. The letter was on the official letterhead of the Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Jones is one of four men convicted of crimes, including sexual assault following an October 2014 incident at a house party in Christian County that left a 15-year-old male victim severely injured.

According to the Dec. 7 letter obtained and published by the New Era, Boling argued that the Democratic Party of Christian County, including former Christian County commonwealth’s attorney Lynn Pryor, conspired and labored alongside the Attorney General’s office to provide Jones a harsher sentence because the party was upset that Jones’ grandparents, Tony and Jackie Jones, had switched to the Republican Party.

Once made public, the commonwealth’s attorney later claimed that he “was approached by Mr. Jones’ grandparents to write a letter to Gov. Matt Bevin,” and that the sentiments in the letter were not his but those of Tony and Jackie Jones — he only attempted to convey them to Bevin.

Boling told the New Era on Jan. 9 that his reputation as commonwealth’s attorney will be “tenuous” for a period of time.

Though he has no plans to resign, Boling has reportedly been missing in action and not seen in the courtroom as this narrative has played out in public.

Both Judge John Atkins and Judge Andrew Self shared Thursday that there is a “mutual agreement” between the two judges and Boling that he remain absent from their courtrooms for the “foreseeable future.”

Christian County voters are right to expect their elected officeholders to have the ability to show up to work and be accountable for their activity. It is obvious that Boling has lost that ability.

Boling has told the New Era that in hindsight he would not have written the letter on his official letterhead.

It is our position that Boling should never have written the letter in any capacity, be it on personal or official letterhead. It was a disgusting display of political favor and shoddy interpretation of justice, and it is beneath the office he holds.

His letter was an unwarranted attack on our system of justice and a shameful, direct attack on an independent judiciary. The commonwealth’s attorney role is to advocate for and further the protection of victims. If he truly believed there had been a miscarriage of justice, Boling should have made his case in public — not in a letter he surely hoped would never see the light of day.

His actions were based on politics, not pursuing justice, and that’s unacceptable coming from the office that is supposed to protect crime victims in Christian County.

Had this action never been found out, Christian County would still have a commonwealth’s attorney who penned a secret letter in advocacy of an offender and not a victim. That, in and of itself, is unconscionable and an abdication of the responsibility of the office to which he was elected.

Rick Boling must resign.

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