With the departure of Bill Locke to the General Sessions bench, the district attorney’s office is now two prosecutors light.
“Right now I don’t know when the positions will be filled,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis who said she is actively looking to fill the vacancy left by the termination of former prosecutor Joshua Crain late last year.
Crain was let go from the district attorney’s office after five years of service. The circumstances of the parting of ways was never revealed. Crain is presently in private practice and is running for General Sessions Judge in August.
The most recent hole was left by Locke who accepted appointment to the General Sessions judgeship by the Warren County Commission. He defeated the next highest vote getter Mary Little Pirtle and will serve at least until at least August when the election is held. Locke replaces Judge Larry Ross who retired after 13 years of service as judge. Prior to that time Ross served as a prosecutor with the DA’s office under then DA Bill Locke who ended up succeeding him on the bench. The election in August will determine who will fill two years remaining on Ross’ term.
Given the relative closeness of the judge election, Zavogiannis said it would not be out of the question for Locke to return to his old job in the prosecutor’s office should he not win election in August. However, Zavogiannis said that since the job is a state job there are no guarantees she would be able to keep the spot open for sure as she could receive a directive to either fill the spot by a certain date or lose the position.
“I’m taking my time and trying to find the right person or persons,” Zavogiannis said.
Presently the prosecutorial duties on the criminal side are being handled by Zavogiannis, veteran prosecutor Tom Miner, Randal Gilliam, and Darrell Julian. The office prosecutes cases in both Warren and Van Buren counties which make up the 31st Judicial District.