Newly-elected state’s attorney begins duties
By Sandy Bond
James Isaac Hare II and his wife Alice (Spiry) are in the process of moving from Northville to New Evarts as Hare begins duties as Walworth County States Attorney. The Independent defeated incumbent Republican Christopher Jansen in the general election in November. Appointed as Walworth County States Attorney in mid-December by commissioners to serve after the premature resignation of Jansen as of November 30, Hare had a U.S. National Guard commitment in early December and Laurie Bauer of Mobridge was appointed to serve in the interim.
Hare has served in private practice in Redfield and city attorney for several towns in surrounding towns including Redfield, Northville and Ashton. Alice has served as Spink County Clerk of Courts.
The Hares have two daughters. Christine is a special education teacher in Glendale, Ariz., and Jessica works at a zoo in Phoenix, Ariz., in preparation for attending veterinarian school.
The son of James and Connie Hare, James, and his four siblings, Michael, Pat, Nick and Mary Elizabeth (Wilson) were born in Miller, where their father was an attorney in private practice. The family then moved to Pierre where his father served as an attorney for the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
Currently a sergeant first class with A Company, 139th Brigade Support Battalion, South Dakota Army National Guard out of Redfield, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1982 to 1989. He served in Iraq in 2004. He attended Northern State University at Aberdeen and majored in education. This is where he and Alice, the daughter of Jim and the late Donna Spiry, first met. Hare received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., in 1996. While in law school, he served an internship at the Brown County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The Hares enjoy volunteering and being active in their communities. He is a member of the National Rifle Association, Veterans of Foreign War, American Legion, Northville Community Association. He and Alice are members and volunteers of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #10. In addition he serves as President of the Family Crisis Center which covers Spink, Faulk, and Hand County. He and Alice are fans of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins, and both volunteer as umpires and referees at various youth sports organizations.
As city attorney for Redfield, Hare worked as liaison between owners of derelict properties and cities in towns in the Spink County area. They have cleaned up more than 50 properties, returning them to the tax roles with cooperation from county and city forces.
“Poverty, alcohol and chemical dependency, a lack of supervision by parents and caregivers often contribute to young people making poor decisions in life,” he said.
The Hare family’s lives were changed when in 1996, Michael Hare, who was driving a taxicab in Pierre to make a little extra money for his family, was kidnapped, robbed of his fare, a total of $36, and murdered by a 14-year old. Paul Jensen is serving a life sentence for murder and a life sentence for kidnapping.
“Although immensely unpopular to build for the taxpayer, jails are a necessary evil,” he said. “They serve a three-fold purpose: as a deterrence, as punishment-because society demands punishment, and to protect society.”
However, he said, our jails in our nation and, indeed, our state and counties, are vastly overcrowded. There are various other means of deterrence that has had phenomenal success.
“For example, I’m a huge fan of ‘24/7,” he said, “because it’s been proven to work when making sure individuals with alcohol dependencies do not drink. The individual is released to return to his family and into society, but must remain accountable for his actions and must be accountable for his sobriety.”
Also, teen court allows a juvenile to be tried by a jury of his peers, who are often more harsh than a judge would be. The accused can be sentenced to community service, and once he or she fulfills the sentence the teen is allowed to keep the offense off his or her permanent record.