- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Eight assistant prosecutors in Louisville have filed to run against district judges after County Attorney Mike O’ Connell decided they could remain employed while they campaign.

The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1ejO8Ni) reports the prosecutors are running for seats held by judges who have recently clashed with O’Connell.

Judge Stephanie Pierce Burke told the newspaper that she thinks O’Connell is recruiting his assistants to run against her and other judges because of previous disputes.

O’Connell denied the allegation, and so did the assistant prosecutors who have filed for the seats.

“I told Mike who I was running against - not the other way around,” said Jennifer Leibson, an assistant who has filed to run against Judge Donald Armstrong Jr.

The assistants said in interviews with the newspaper that they didn’t run previously because they couldn’t afford to resign from their jobs. Now, they said, that’s no longer a requirement.

“You are seeing a pent-up desire of assistants who finally have a chance to run,” said Andre Bergeron, who is running against Burke. “If you are paranoid, it might look like a conspiracy.”

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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