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AG Candidate Westerfield Hits Back Against Criticism of Prosecutorial Record

J. Tyler Franklin/Louisville Public Media

Calloway County attorney K. Bryan Ernstberger has penned an op-ed, published in the Murray Ledger & Times, slamming fellow Republican Whitney Westerfield’s candidacy for Kentucky Attorney General.

Democrats have pounced on the material from state Sen. Westerfield’s personnel file as a former assistant commonwealth’s attorney, repeatedly referencing a time Westerfield took time off to get a pedicure. But Ernstberger says he saw something more troubling in Westerfield’s file.

“You have to be able to communicate with law enforcement," Ernstberger told WKMS. "You have to be able to sit down with victims and talk to them and let them know they’re in a safe environment talking to you. That’s something that his personnel file seems to reflect he doesn’t do well or has issues with.”

Ernstberger doesn’t mention Democratic attorney general candidate Andy Beshear’s name in his op-ed, co-written with Democratic Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley, but he did contribute money to Beshear’s campaign well before Westerfield’s personnel file was first reported on by cn2’s Pure Politics.

Westerfield calls the recent attacks “low, smearing tactics” and defends his prosecutorial record.

“I am very proud of it and so is my boss, "Westerfield said, referring to commonwealth's attorney Lynn Pryor. "Otherwise, she wouldn’t have referred to me as her ‘go-to guy’ anytime she was out of the office. If you haven't seen that cn2 story, go check it out. If I was this, whatever they describe me to be, I wouldn't have been elected to the Senate and I wouldn't have been entrusted with a fairly important chairmanship and I wouldn't have been able to do things that have been so big and successful and bipartisan that Andy's father [Gov. Steve Beshear] signed them into law enthusiastically.”

Westerfield chairs the state Senate's judiciary committee and worked on high profile legislation related to the juvenile justice system and Kentucky's growing heroin problem.

Pryor, a Democrat, told Pure Politics her remarks about Westerfield in the personnel file were “constructive criticism”.

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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