SMITH COUNTY - Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jacob Putman held a press conference on Monday in an attempt to set the record straight about the audit on Smith County prosecutors.
During the press conference, Putman said the audit that was released last week, by Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham, only revealed documents that skewed data and made him look bad.
He went on to say the audit was a desperate attempt, between Bingham and Putman’s opponent Alicia Barkley, to make him lose the district attorney race.
Bingham says the audit revealed dozens of cases in which Jacob Putman reduced or dismissed felony cases without Bingham’s signature, which is against office policy.
Documents show Putman was not the only prosecutor dismissing felonies without Bingham’s signature.
At least two others incorrectly dismissed or reduced dozens of felony charges.
During the press conference, Putman said dismissing felonies as part of a plea deal was a common practice.
"I now realize I wasn't confused about it, because every other prosecutor thought just like I did, and was doing the same thing,” said Putman. “So, really, I just think I was being set up."
Bingham told CBS19 that office policy has been the same for more than a decade and that Putman had deliberately broken office rules.
In response to the allegations that Bingham is colluding with Alicia Barkley, both denied it.
"Understand, this is not something I generated,” said Bingham. “This all came to light because of decisions he made that were part of the end result of Trooper Allen getting shot and murdered.”
"I am running my own race, I do not work for anyone else. I am not a puppet or a front man for anyone else,” said Barkley. “I just feel so strongly about what is going on that I feel like I have to stand up and make a change and do something different than what I see with Putman."
Putman also released his personnel file that showed he had never been formally reprimanded for dismissing and reducing felony charges without the signature of the district attorney.
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