Cabell Circuit Judge candidate: Christopher D. Chiles (D)
HOME CITY: Barboursville
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
E-MAIL ADDRESS: Chris.D.Chiles@gmail.com
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I have had the honor of serving for the last 32 years as both your elected Prosecuting Attorney and as an assistant prosecutor. From 1980-1990, I also maintained a successful civil practice. I have tried almost 100 jury trials to verdict with nearly a 90% conviction rate. I was appointed Circuit Judge in February. My duty as a judge is to be fair, impartial and see that justice prevails in every case. This was also my duty as your prosecutor. I have shown that I have the experience, professionalism and impartiality required to continue serving as a circuit judge.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Huntington High School in 1973; Graduated, with Honors, from the University of Tennessee in 1977; Graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1980.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: I presently serve as a Cabell County Circuit Court Judge, and have served in that capacity since being appointed by the Governor in February of this year.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: I previously served as the Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney from April, 1990 to February 2014, and as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney from December, 1982 to April, 1990. I also maintained a civil law practice from June, 1980 to April, 1990.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: I am a member of the Board of Directors of the City of Huntington Foundation, and a member of the B.P.O Elks Lodge #313 and the Sons of the American Legion, Post 16. I am a past board member of the Developmental Therapy Center and the Cabell County Child Abuse Prevention Team. I was active in scouting, little league baseball and youth soccer for many years, and still referee soccer. I also held positions in many state-wide and national associations, including serving as president of the National District Attorneys Association, until I was appointed Judge and had to resign those positions.
FAMILY: I have been married for 33 years to Michaela B. Chiles. We have three sons: Christopher, 31; Drew, 28; and Ben, 24. We attend First United Methodist Church in Huntington, where I have been active as a choir member, Sunday School Teacher, member of the Administrative Council, Scholarship Committee and Staff/Parish Relations Committee.
1.What would be your approach to using alternative sentencing methods, in light of the state’s crowded jails and prisons?
As prosecutor, I have always been a proponent of alternatives to incarceration in appropriate, non-violent cases. Drug courts, day report centers, home confinement, probation, and appropriate combinations of those alternative sentences, can be effective, proper alternatives to incarceration in the right cases. I started the first community corrections program in WV as an alternative to incarceration.
2. Some judges have taken on an initiative to reduce truancy. Are there other initiatives to address problems that you would take on as judge?
As judge, I will remain involved in our efforts to reduce truancy, as I was as prosecutor. I will also continue to be an advocate for our juvenile and adult drug courts, because they are making a positive difference in this community. I will also continue to advocate for the use of alternatives to incarceration in appropriate cases.
3. Do you believe cases move quickly enough through the courts? If not, do you see any steps that can be taken to improve the speed of justice?
No. For criminal cases, utilizing Marshall’s and WVU’s forensic science departments to reduce the workload and backlog of the WV State Police crime lab would lead to faster results for drug and forensic evidence, which would let criminal cases move more quickly. For civil cases, I will promptly set scheduling orders and require all parties to follow the deadlines set.
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