Smyrna lawyer Jamieson enters solicitor race

Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett faced attorney Philip Jamieson at a Union County criminal trial a few years ago. Brackett scored victory in that trial, and the re-match is set for the Nov. 4 general election.

Jamieson, a police officer turned attorney, is running on the Democratic ticket against Republican Brackett for the solicitor spot that covers York and Union counties. Brackett, who worked at the solicitor's office since 1991, was appointed to the post when Tommy Pope resigned in 2006.

Jamieson, who has been practicing law since 2001, is in private practice specializing in criminal and family law.

"I have a well-rounded approach," Jamieson said. "I've seen it from the law enforcement side, from the prosecution and from family court experience what criminal problems do to the family."

Jamieson, 53, of Smyrna, worked at the solicitor's office twice between 2001 and 2003. Before going to law school at the University of South Carolina, Jamieson worked in the U.S. Army Military Police as an officer and supervisor, and as a police trainer in Gastonia, N.C.

"I want to be solicitor because I think York County citizens can be better served than they currently are," Jamieson said. "At a time when everyone is tightening their belts, (the) solicitor's office should, too."

Brackett said he's proud of the office, how it operates and the work it does, and having competition in this race doesn't change things. The office has been consistently recognized for its speed and quality of case management, Brackett said.

"We're the model for the state on docket management," he said. "It's important that the level of excellence has been maintained."

If elected, Brackett wants to focus on juvenile issues and keeping troubled youth from becoming adult offenders.

Jamieson said he's disturbed by the disagreements the solicitor's office has had with local law enforcement. York Police Chief Bill Mobley questioned Brackett's abilities during a dispute over the investigation of a September gang-related killing. Brackett said York police botched the investigation and asked the State Law Enforcement Division to assist. Mobley said the solicitor's office aided York police with the investigation, and the chief asked the state attorney general's office to try the case. They've since resolved their differences, and a state grand jury indicted a suspect in February.

"Instead of asking for more personnel, more equipment, more money, the solicitor ought to reach out to law enforcement and be an asset, instead of being critical of them," Jamieson said.

Brackett supervised Jamieson when he worked at the solicitor's office but said he didn't work closely or try any cases with him. Brackett, 43, lives in Fort Mill with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Molly.

Brackett said he wants to continue be a voice for victims. In July, he added a Spanish-speaking victim's advocate. He also started a Worthless Check Unit earlier this year to help businesses track bad debts.