DA Smith losing all 3 assistants; looking for more

Published 7:00 pm Monday, December 10, 2018

In his years as Ninth Circuit District Attorney Ricky Smith has seen assistants leave from time-to-time and move on to other careers, but he has never experienced the exodus he has seen in the past three months.

“All my ADAs have gone on to bigger and better things,” he said. “The difficult part is three at a time. I’ve had assistant DAs leave before, but not all three at one time; it’s been interesting.”

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Bert Carraway was the first assistant to leave when he was hired by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Jackson in October. Marcie Southerland was elected County Court judge, and Dec. 17, Angela Carpenter will be sworn in as Vicksburg’s new municipal judge.

Since receiving notice his assistants were leaving, Smith has been meeting with prospective assistants to find three people who can fill the empty slots.

“I’ve had a number of people express interest in the positions, and I’ve interviewed several,” he said. “I’ll probably be making a decision the first part of the week who’s going to be filling those positions.”

He said the transition will not affect trials scheduled for court.

“Everybody I’ve interviewed, I’ve told them to make sure they’re ready to work come Jan. 1,” Smith said. “I told them they need to be ready, because they’ll be going right into the courtroom, so I don’t anticipate any delays in any cases because of it.”

And he looks at the accomplishments of his former assistants with a sense of pride.

“I am proud of the fact that I now have a circuit court judge who’s in Madison, Rankin, that’s Dewey Arthur; Marcie Southerland is a county court judge; Angela Carpenter, is now the municipal court judge; and Bert Carraway, who’s a US attorney. They have all come out of this office, I’m very proud of the achievements the folks in this office have made.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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