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Time for a change in DAs office
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Dear Editor.

I am Mike Hall, the husband of Martha Hall who is running for district attorney.  The qualities of the candidates for the District Attorney of the Ogeechee Circuit are well known to the people who work with them on a daily basis. Ask your attorney; ask a police officer you know personally and trust; ask a bailiff or other court officer — they will know.

The purpose of this letter is to highlight the concerns which motivated Martha into running. Richard Mallard, the current district attorney, is a nice guy.  But this race is not about being a nice guy, it is about getting a job done. Managing the office, being prepared for court, insuring that the assistant district attorneys are working with law enforcement, listening to the victims and their families, and dealing with defense attorneys in an efficient manner are matters which are mandatory.

For example, in a case apppearence last week, a local lawyer represented a criminal defendant. The case has been on the court’s calendar nine times and the case was still not resolved. At the last court appearance, the attorney told Richard, “This is what I am talking about — (the assistant district attorney) will not work with me to resolve the case.” Richard’s response was characteristic. “You know no one can talk to him; you know how he gets.” Rather than attempting to resolve the problem, Richard just ignored the problem. The case is still not resolved. This same scenario happens time and time again. The way cases are handled is a waste of everyone’s time, including the court personnel, the judges, the attorneys, the victims and the defendants.

Prosecution of child molestation cases should be the highest priority for the current administration. Unfortunatally, it’s not. Most circuits have specially trained staff who handle these cases circuit wide. Our D.A. office doesn’t. Recently two cases were lost solely because of lack of preparation. One involved statutory rape and the other an 11-year-old girl.

 These were cases that should have been won, the criminals locked up, but instead they are free and walking the streets.

Since Martha has been in private practice she has been involved in three death penalty  cases. Each of the cases involved multiple murders. These are the cases that should be handled directly by the district attorney. In none of the cases was the current district attorney involved at trial.

The choice is clear. The voters can choose the status quo or for the first time in many years elect a fresh choice to have a new start. As one local attorney stated, “This is why I am supporting Martha Hall for district attorney. In all my dealings with Martha. whether it was when she was an assistant at the district attorney’s office, as solicitor in Screven County or as a private attorney on civil matters, Martha is reasonable, direct and honest. Martha works hard and expects everyone in her office to do the same.  That cannot be said for the present administration.”

Michael Hall