COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Last month longtime Russell County District Attorney Kenneth Davis submitted a retirement letter to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
Davis has now withdrawn that letter and plans to finish his term, which expires at the end of 2022.
Davis at more than 38 years, is the longest-serving DA in Alabama history. He’s also one of the longest-serving elected DAs in the country.
Why the change of heart?
“On a personal level, it’s just a matter of I made a commitment that when I ran for this office in 2016, that I would finish this term,” Davis told News 3. “And I have made a number of personal commitments to people who are the victims of violent crimes or whose relatives were the victims of violent crimes that I would personally handle their case. And it’s just a matter of personally I feel like I owe them, and I owe this office to continue until the end of my term.”
Friday was supposed to be 74-year-old Russell County DA Kenneth Davis’ last day on the job.
Davis notified Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey of his intentions to retire early in an August letter. Two weeks ago, Davis submitted another letter informing Ivey of his intention to withdraw his resignation.
That means, despite his health issues, he will remain district attorney for the next 15 months.
Davis has appointed Phenix City attorney Rick Chancey as his Chief Deputy. Chancey will go full-time in the next four weeks.
“And one of the reasons I have made this decision is I have been fortunate enough that Rick Chancey, one of the best young lawyers in this area, has agreed to come to work for me full time and I have appointed him Chief Deputy,” Davis said.
Because of Davis’ health issues, it is crucial to have Chancey move into the No. 2 position.
“When you have somebody in the courtroom with you who’s competent and can give you full assistance and actually take over cases that you might otherwise be doing,” Davis said. “That makes a huge difference. I do have some health issues and they are serious health issues, but I don’t believe they will prevent me from doing my job.”
Davis says this was not a decision he made lightly.
“I didn’t do that frevously,” he said. “I did give it a lot of consideration, but since that time I have rethought it. And I believe this is the right thing to do for this office and for the community.”
A spokesperson for Ivey confirmed that the office had received Davis’ letter to rescind the resignation. The governor’s office had no comment.
The Russell County district attorney’s job will be on the 2022 ballot.