LOWVILLE — Lawyer Jeffrey G. Tompkins has announced his candidacy for Lewis County district attorney.
Originally from Redfield, the Camden resident has 30 years of legal experience.
He currently works for McClusky Law Firm and has been the conflict defender for the county for the past five years which has had him acting as public defender when the county’s public defenders have a conflict of interest in a case.
Although Mr. Tompkins said he has diverse experience including civil, municipal and criminal clients that will be beneficial for him in the district attorney role, it is his years spent prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases for the Department of Social Services in Oneida and Oswego counties that are most like the demands of the district attorney role.
“Fundamentally, the prosecution is the same. The difference is the burden of proof,” Tompkins said, noting that the “high burden of reasonable doubt” required in criminal cases does not apply in family court. “I’m of the same mind set whether it be a (criminal) case here or a case I would have prosecuted for child abuse or child neglect.”
He said another major difference is that the defendants have opportunities to “right their ship” throughout the process before the ultimate sentence, for example, the children being placed in foster care if parents “couldn’t do what they needed to do and stay there (in foster care) unless parents are able to pull it together.”
After winning jury acquittal for a client accused of domestic abuse last year, Mr. Tompkins said he was approached by another attorney in the county with the idea that he pursue becoming the next district attorney. Although he did not heed that advice right away, after some consideration, more encouragement from the local attorney and a long discussion with his family, he decided to pursue the role.
“I’ve always enjoyed the public service aspect of things,” he said. “I’d like to think in doing the work as DA I’d be helping out everyone in the county.”
If he is chosen by voters to be district attorney, Mr. Tompkins said he and his family will move to the town of Osceola so that his son, a junior at Camden High School, can stay in the same school.
He and his wife also have a daughter in college and he has three adult step children.
Mr. Tompkins has an associate degree from SUNY Morrisville, a bachelor’s degree from Utica College and obtained his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley College in Lansing, Michigan.
To officially become a candidate, Mr. Tompkins is required to turn in a petition with a specified number of signatures between April 3 and 6 to the county board of elections.
Incumbent District Attorney Leanne K. Moser announced in January that she is running for reelection to a fifth term.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.