Former Limestone County District Attorney Kristi Valls served Alabama as a prosecutor for over 20 years, several of which were from the DA’s office located in the basement of the courthouse. The election in November of 2010 saw Mrs. Valls having to re-think her career path, as well as her future, and find a new niche. In June of 2011, she opened a beautiful office located at 205 West Washington Street in Athens, right across the street from the courthouse. For the past five years, Kristi has been handling criminal cases, divorce and child custody, as well as wills and estates. She is running for the DA position at the urging of law enforcement, victims, and social workers. Kristi is also running as an Independent because she wants to take politics out of the courtroom.
Kristi grew up on an egg farm, and learned all the irreplaceable life lessons that a rural farm-based lifestyle can afford. She went to Birmingham-Southern College, and graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law. While at Alabama, she was a member of the National Trial Advocacy Team. She clerked for Madison County Circuit Judge William Page, and worked in private practice before joining the Limestone County District Attorney’s office. After almost 10 years as an Assistant District Attorney, Kristi was appointed as the Limestone County District Attorney in February of 1999, and was then elected as District Attorney in 2004. She remained in that position until January of 2011. She served as secretary/treasurer, vice-president and president of the Alabama District Attorney’s Association, and was named the 2009 Alabama District Attorney of the Year.
While in office, Kristi was a conservative manager who believed that the DA's office should do all that it could to assist law enforcement in their fight against crime. She knew they were in the fight together and needed every tool available. Therefore, due to several seizures made by law enforcement and her conservative management of those funds, Kristi was fortunate to be able to award grants to law enforcement agencies throughout our county, as well as partnering agencies. Upon leaving office, over $1,000,000 remained in the bank for the District Attorney's office.
Kristi is well known for her commitment to victims, as well as her work ethic, and while interviewing others who know her, I was told that she takes the time to listen to victims, and will put in the work necessary to see to it that justice is served.
No stranger to making difficult decisions, Kristi has at times called for the death penalty when she felt it was warranted. As DA, it was not at all uncommon for her to be called by law enforcement in the middle of the night when there had been a homicide, arriving on the scene before it had been processed. She was seeing it just as the officers were seeing it. I asked her why she did that, and she said, “I wanted to look around for myself at what happened, and get a feel for the victim. I did not want to only look at pictures of the scene taken by others, as important as those pictures are.”
Kristi had a 99% conviction rate for all cases tried. It was high because law enforcement worked hard to investigate the cases and make the arrests, and she worked hard to diligently prepare the case for trial. Kristi had an excellent staff and assistants who were as committed as she was to see justice done. “I treated each case as though I was fighting for justice for someone I knew personally, whether I did or not. I fought for others the way I would want them to fight for me or my family,” she said.
Speaking of family, Kristi is married to Robert Valls, retired Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Limestone County, and they have one son, Kevin (20) who is a sophomore at the University of Alabama; a step-daughter, Ashley Valls Schrimsher; and son-in-law, Jacob Schrimsher.
I asked Kristi what she was most proud of, and she said, “Being a wife and mom. That really is the most important thing to me.” I then asked, “What about professionally?” She answered, “I'm most proud of the success the DA’s office had while I was in office due to my great working relationship with law enforcement, and the fact that six years later, law enforcement continues to support me.”
In closing, here is what Kristi had to say she will do as Limestone County District Attorney:
“Since 85-90% of all cases arise due to illegal drug use, my focus will be on those who sell, distribute, or make drugs. I plan to use all resources to bring those cases to trial and see that repeat offenders are not released back onto our streets. Drug Court, which my office established in 2009, will be utilized to assist those who are drug users and abusers.
“I will listen to all victims and keep them informed about each stage of the criminal process. Justice is what the victim says that it is. I will work with law enforcement and social workers to see that those who sexually molest our children are brought to trial swiftly without unnecessary delays. Finally, I will again be a hands-on District Attorney who will be in the courtroom taking care of business.”
If independent, conservative leadership is what you are looking for in a District Attorney, then Kristi Valls would appreciate your vote on November 8th.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner