Lexington, KY | Count on LEX 18

Police Officer Fighting To Remain Magistrate

WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) – A Winchester man has two jobs: he’s a city police officer and an elected county magistrate.

Travis Thompson wants to continue doing both jobs but some people believe that under the law, he can’t hold both positions.

Thompson was sworn in as Clark County magistrate back in January. He works on the fiscal court to handle county business. He’s also a Winchester Police Officer who works for the city, but now he’s fighting to keep both jobs.

“We believe I can do both…the city has been extremely supportive of me. They were aware I was running for election when they brought me back to the police department,” Thompson told LEX 18.

The newly elected Clark County attorney doesn’t agree.

“Based on Kentucky law you can’t do both. Whether I say you can or not you still cannot, Kentucky law says no person shall at the same time, fill a county office and a municipal office,” William Elkins explained to LEX 18.

Thompson claims that a magistrate is not a municipal office and his lawyer says the statute is outdated.

However, in March, the county attorney dismissed all the cases that Thompson had investigated, including drug possession, shoplifting, and alcohol intoxication arrests, stating that Thompson had no authority. A judge overseeing the officer’s civil case ruled that he has all the authority of a peace officer pending further orders of the court.

The Kentucky Attorney General gave an informal opinion stating the positions are compatible but the situation remains in limbo.

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