Live chat with Jackson County prosecutor candidates
1:29
Brian Wheeler: 
Good afternoon! We're in our office with Jackson County prosecutor candidates Jerry Jarzynka and Charles Perlos. They'll be answering your questions for the next hour.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:29 Brian Wheeler
1:30
[Comment From Danielle SalisburyDanielle Salisbury: ] 
To start, why do you want the job as Jackson County prosecutor?
Monday October 29, 2012 1:30 Danielle Salisbury
1:32
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
When Mr. Zavislak declared that he wasn't seeking re-election, I saw the opportunity to pursue what I've done as an attorney in the community over the years to help, not just victims but the citizens here in Jackson to make this a safe place to live and to seek justice as prosecutor.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:32 Charles Perlos
1:32
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
Jackson is a great place to raise a family. As Prosecutor, I want to keep it that way and make it an even safer place to live, work and raise a family. I am dedicated to being a prosecutor, protecting law abiding citizens from criminals and seeking justice for the victims of crime.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:32 Jerry Jarzynka
1:32
Brian Wheeler: 
This is a question from a reader: "Given the rising rate in juvenile crime in our county, what's each candidates stand on the prosecutor's office partnering with existing prevention services and what would that look like if they were elected?"
Monday October 29, 2012 1:32 Brian Wheeler
1:35
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
I believe that he goal of the juvenile court over the years has always been to rehabilitate juveniles at a young age. If elected, I would explore services, which would include determining the underlying problem in the family home, in hopes of providing the needed counseling and/or assistance for young adults in an effort to curtail such activity into their adult lives.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:35 Charles Perlos
1:36
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
I am in favor of using existing prevention services that are available. My office would continue to protect the public from crime but with the intent to help juvenile offenders to get off the path to a life filled with crime. We will help juveniles get back on track; however, there will be violent juvenile offenders who will tried as adults if the facts warrant such a prosecution. I have juvenile court prosecution experience.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:36 Jerry Jarzynka
1:37
[Comment From Jackson Gay PrideJackson Gay Pride: ] 
What is your connection, if any, to the LGBT community, and will you have a staff person to handle LGBT issues that arrise?
Monday October 29, 2012 1:37 Jackson Gay Pride
1:41
Brian Wheeler: 
Both candidates declined to answer the question.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:41 Brian Wheeler
1:41
[Comment From kthoughtskthoughts: ] 
Thanks, gentlemen, for answering my question.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:41 kthoughts
1:42
[Comment From Danielle SalisburyDanielle Salisbury: ] 
Jerry Jarzynka has said he will adopt a no deals policy for parolees. Mr. Jarzynka, will you explain this position and Mr. Perlos, will you respond?
Monday October 29, 2012 1:42 Danielle Salisbury
1:46
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
Yes. One of the things I will do differently is that I will take a tough stand on parolee crimes. The statistics show that parolees commit a disproportionately higher percentage of crimes than other people in the population. Parolees should be on their best behavior when on parole, they of all people should not be committing new crimes. The public needs to be protected. I say this based on my 16 years of prosecution experience.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:46 Jerry Jarzynka
1:46
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
I believe that any crime committed by a parolee needs to be reviewed on an individual basis in light of his past criminal acts, the degree of the offense, who in fact was the victim, before I adopt any policy in accords therewith as your prosecutor.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:46 Charles Perlos
1:46
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Will both you try cases if you win
Monday October 29, 2012 1:46 Guest
1:47
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
Yes.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:47 Charles Perlos
1:47
[Comment From JamesJames: ] 
It would be refreshing to see the County's Prosecuting Attorney "in the trenches", actually prosecuting cases in district, juvenile, and circuit court. Would either of you see yourselves doing this if able to get away from the heavy administrative/management duties you'd have?
Monday October 29, 2012 1:47 James
1:49
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
Yes. I intend to be in the courtroom trying high profile and capital cases. I do that now.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:49 Jerry Jarzynka
1:49
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
Yes, I will certainly try to be active in the courts along with the assistants as much as possible, in conjunction with the day-to-day affairs in the office.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:49 Charles Perlos
1:50
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
In my 16 years of prosecution experience, I have done just about every prosecution assignment in the Prosecutor's office and done it well. I will be involved in the other courts, but as the Prosecutor of the Office, I understand that my role will not be to handle a weekly docket, but mainly to provide leadership, policy and direction to my staff with the main goal of protecting the public from criminals.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:50 Jerry Jarzynka
1:50
[Comment From Danielle SalisburyDanielle Salisbury: ] 
How will you decide what cases will be settled and what cases will go to trial?
Monday October 29, 2012 1:50 Danielle Salisbury
1:52
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
Depending upon the nature of the offense, the offender's past criminal record, the position of the victims and the severity of the crime, decisions will be made on an individual basis in an effort to pursue justice for all involved.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:52 Charles Perlos
1:53
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
First and foremost, you must decide if you have enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Thereafter, you must prioritize which cases you want to prosecute because you cannot prosecute every single case. My office will adopt a no deals policy with parolees; we will continue to target violent criminals and sexual predators; and, we will make seniors off limits to scam artists.
Monday October 29, 2012 1:53 Jerry Jarzynka
1:53
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Please help us understand the differences between the candidates. Will you please characterize yourselves in context of the other candidate?
Monday October 29, 2012 1:53 Guest
2:00
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
There is real difference. I am the only candidate with prosecution experience. In fact, I have 16 years of prosecution experience. I also have more overall legal experience -- almost 29 years as attorney. I also have 12 years of private practice experience which makes me the most well-rounded candidate. I am also the only candidate endorsed by local law enforcement. I am endorsed by Sheriff Steve Rand, the Sheriff's Department Road Patrol Deputies Association and Command Officers Association, City of Jackson Police Officers Union, Blackman-Leoni Township Police Officers and Command Officers Associations and also endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Michigan Association of Police Organizations. I have an excellent reputation and working relationship with local police officers that I have earned in 16 years of prosecution experience. I am respected for my honor, integrity and work ethic.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:00 Jerry Jarzynka
2:01
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
For the past 27 years, I've ran my own law office, worked with people on a day-to-day basis, along with employees. I have an excellent work ethic. I enjoy working with people and have a broad spectrum of legal experience, which over the years emphasized trial work at the courthouse. I've been a lifelong resident of this community. I believe my involvement with the local authorities, along with members of the community, with a common goal to make this community safe. My past experiences in the law will help us achieve that goal.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:01 Charles Perlos
2:03
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
Also, I want to add to my last comment: I am also different from my opponent because he has no prosecution experience and no law enforcement endorsements. I have personally prosecuted several thousand cases and tried close to 200 jury trials. Marguerite and I have lived in Jackson since 1986 and raised our 3 children in Jackson. I have been active in the community and coached youth soccer for 14 years when the kids were growing up. I have also served on various community boards as well.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:03 Jerry Jarzynka
2:03
[Comment From Guest2Guest2: ] 
What are your relationships with the local law enforcement? Are either of you backed and supported by any of them?
Monday October 29, 2012 2:03 Guest2
2:05
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
I have a good relationship not only with the local city police, the county sheriff, the state police and also the township officers. There are several officers who are supporting me individually. I also have met recently with members of law enforcement to address specific problems that they've had with our current prosecutor and, if elected, will work toward resolving those issues.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:05 Charles Perlos
2:06
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
My relationship with local law enforcement is excellent earned in my 16 years of prosecution experience. I am backed by local law enforcement agencies and police organizations as detailed above. All of local police agencies have endorsed me as well as a number of township police chiefs.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:06 Jerry Jarzynka
2:06
[Comment From Napoleon CitizenNapoleon Citizen: ] 
Doesn't the prosecutor also have to create and balance a budget? What experience do either of you have in running a business?
Monday October 29, 2012 2:06 Napoleon Citizen
2:09
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
I've ran my own law office for the last 27 years. I haven't seen the prosecutor's budget. However, if elected, I will employ or maintain individuals necessary to keep a balanced budget and/or reduce the current budget.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:09 Charles Perlos
2:09
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
Yes. I have 12 years of private practice experience and I have experience running my own law office, having a budget and making a payroll. I also earned a Finance degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:09 Jerry Jarzynka
2:09
[Comment From brianbrian: ] 
What are you gonna to do to stop all the violent crime like robbery,and all the drugs that people are making or running
Monday October 29, 2012 2:09 brian
2:12
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
Work closely with law enforcement to prosecute all violent crime and to send a message throughout the community that violent crime won't be tolerated, in an effort to deter others in the community.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:12 Charles Perlos
2:12
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
That is part of my platform to make violent crimes, including gun violence and drug traffic a top priority. My office will aggressively prosecute these crimes. My office will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney's Office on Project Safe Neighborhoods to target gun violence and drug traffic to get these criminals off the street. They are dangerous to our community.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:12 Jerry Jarzynka
2:13
[Comment From brianbrian: ] 
What are you 2 planning on changing if u win
Monday October 29, 2012 2:13 brian
2:14
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
I don't believe that the prosecutor's office is broke. I would like, however, to take a more active role in the charging process of criminal acts, along with the decision-making process relative to the disposition of cases on an individual basis.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:14 Charles Perlos
2:18
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
Our office is running smoothly and the staff is working well as a team. You can always improve on what you are doing and the current office is no different. My office will adopt a no deals policy on parolees who commit new crimes; we will continue to target violent criminals and sexual predators; I will assign an Assistant Prosecutor to work specifically on seniors who are victimized by scam artists; I will also meet with citizens every week at various locations in the County to hear and address problems our citizens have with the criminal justice system; I will also reinstitute and privatize the Bad Check Collection program to help small businesses.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:18 Jerry Jarzynka
2:18
[Comment From DanDan: ] 
To both candidates, what is your position on 2nd amendment rights and the right to carry a concealed firearm. And please, no just "I support the 2nd amendment" answer.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:18 Dan
2:20
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
I believe in the right to carry concealed weapons and bear arms in accord with the 2nd Amendment. I also as prosecutor will have to enforce the laws as written by the Legislature and as interpreted by the rights relative to who, when, where and how the right is exercised.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:20 Charles Perlos
2:21
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
As Prosecutor, I will uphold the law and protect and defend the Constitution including the 2nd Amendment. I support the right to bear arms including the right to carry a concealed firearm. Local gun board review applications and generally grant permits
Monday October 29, 2012 2:21 Jerry Jarzynka
2:21
[Comment From Guest2Guest2: ] 
How many jury trials have the both of you actually tried over your years of experience?
Monday October 29, 2012 2:21 Guest2
2:24
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
In 16 years of prosecution experience, I have tried close to 200 jury trials. That does not include bench trials which would number close to 1000.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:24 Jerry Jarzynka
2:24
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
Over the last 27 years, as many as one a month to maybe one every other one or two months. My goal has not been to fight in the courtroom over the years, but rather to seek the truth with an end to justice.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:24 Charles Perlos
2:24
[Comment From DennyDenny: ] 
How have you served in the community?
Monday October 29, 2012 2:24 Denny
2:27
[Comment From Charles PerlosCharles Perlos: ] 
Besides being a member of the Bar Association locally, the state of Michigan Bar, in the early years I was active with Junior Achievement, local fundraisers, the United Way, Salvation Army, Toys For Tots. And through the years when my children were growing up, I was active with their activities, which included band, sports, fundraisers, etc.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:27 Charles Perlos
2:30
[Comment From Jerry JarzynkaJerry Jarzynka: ] 
I have served in a number of ways. I coached youth soccer for 14 years when my kids were growing up. I also have served on a number of community boards such as the Exchange Club, Birthline and Catholic Charities. I currently serve on the Catholic Charities board and act as the liaison between the board and the Child Advocacy Center which is extremely important to helping in the prosecution of the sexual predators of children. I also served on the Queens' Parish Council and currently am active in my church as a Lector. I am member of the Knights of Columbus as well. I have also been involved with Right to Life in various events over the last 26 years. Of course, I have served as a public servant as a prosecutor for 16 years in Jackson.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:30 Jerry Jarzynka
2:30
Brian Wheeler: 
We are out of time, unfortunately. We did not get to every question, but we will be writing more about this campaign in the next few days. Thanks to Mr. Jarzynka and Mr. Perlos for taking part, and thanks to all of the readers who followed along.
Monday October 29, 2012 2:30 Brian Wheeler
 
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