This is an open letter to the citizens and court systems of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit of Georgia, Bryan, Evans, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Tattnall Counties.
On March I , 1984 I was sworn in as assistant district attorney under then District Attorney Dupont K.
Cheney. After being promoted to chief assistant in December of that year, I continued to serve under Mr.
Cheney, benefitting from his leadership and legal wisdom until his retirement in December of 1998 when I was elected district attorney.
After my re-election to the present term, I decided to not seek re-election this year, but to retire. While I would not rule out seeking another position in our court system in the future, my term as D.A. will end Dec. 31 of this year.
I want to thank law enforcement, court personnel, and certainly my own office staff who have supported me and trusted me with the decisions in volved in handling cases submitted to our office. Sometimes decisions such as whether to prosecute, whether to delay or postpone prosecution or whether to refer prosecution decisions to other agencies have to be made. Many decisions involve balancing varied interests which sometimes conflict with one another. Not all decisions I have made over the years have enjoyed unanimous agreement by all parties involved, but have been made in attempts to reach resolution if possible. Many times, competing interests must simply be presented to juries and/or judges for resolution. In this regard, I have been fortunate during my tenure to practice with very professional and experienced judges. For this, I express my sincere appreciation.
Also, I would be remiss if I did not express appreciation to my family during my prosecuting attorney years, I’m not sure if “understanding” is the exact word, but whatever you ca1l it, home support is not a mere nicety for a sustained prosecuting career; it is an absolute necessity.
I congratulate Bi11y Joe Nelson Jr. in his unopposed bid to succeed me as D.A. I have worked with Billy for almost 10 years and I trust that he wi11 receive the same support from citizens, court officials, and law enforcement that I have over the almost 39 years as a prosecuting attorney and D.A.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as District Attorney of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit.
Tom Durden, District Attorney, Atlantic Judicial Circuit