Sims to run for re-election

OSCEOLA COUNTY – Osceola County prosecuting attorney James Sims will run for re-election in November against Reed City attorney Tyler Thompson, who announced his candidacy April 24.

Serving as the county’s prosecuting attorney for the past four years, Sims has handled major felony and misdemeanor cases in the county.

Sims is a lifetime resident of Osceola County, graduating from Reed City High School and completing undergraduate studies at Ferris State University and law school at Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Ann Arbor.

He has 12 years of experience in the legal field, having worked as a special deputy for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, a law clerk for attorney Kim Booher and an attorney in his own practice for three years before taking his current office. He also is a member of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan.

“I love my job. I was born and raised in this county. When I make a decision it’s based on the fact that I want to remain here,” Sims said. “This isn’t about politics, this is about doing the right thing for Osceola County.”

He points to his experience and track record of prosecuting cases that may not be the most popular as reasons he should be elected for another term.

“Regardless of backlash, regardless of cost, you have to do what is right, and I’ve done that,” Sims said. “The (Prosecuting Attorney’s office) isn’t something you can go to from prosecuting defense. I think it’s important that people get what they’re paying for.”

Another reason Sims believes he should be re-elected is the change in the Prosecuting Attorneys office that has taken place during his term, Sims said, is

“I’ve implemented different programs throughout the last four years and I have a very good working relationship with law enforcement officers who are out there on the road,” Sims said.

Programs implemented during Sims’ current term include an “open-door” policy which allows officers to access his office easily and increases communication among the departments, he said.

“I get feedback from road officers that everybody is happy with the changes and want things to continue,” Sims said.

Another change Sims made was rethinking the policy that stated only the prosecuting attorney is to handle felony cases, to also allow the assistant prosecutor to prosecute such cases. The change has made cases move through his office more quickly, Sims said, increasing system efficiency and decreasing the amount of cases piling up.

Overcoming a philosophy resistant to change and a system with a negative reputation is another highlight of his time in office, Sims said.

“The system as a whole has a very bad reputation and we are doing a good job of seperating the Prosecuting Attorney’s office from that bad reputation,” Sims said. “It is my intention that if I get this job for the next four years, we are going to continue fixing these problems.”