May 24, 2013 10:21:21 AM
Carl Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
A special election will be needed this year to replace longtime city and county prosecutor Roy Carpenter Jr.
Carpenter submitted a letter to both county and city governments in early May announcing his intention to retire June 30 after serving the area for nearly three decades.
Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer said he expects a special election to be called in November to replace Carpenter. The board passed a resolution Monday to alert the county election commission to the need, but no date was decided.
As for Carpenter's city duties, the Starkville Board of Aldermen approved advertising for the part-time position. New hires require approval by the board.
Carpenter began serving as county attorney in 1983 and city attorney in 1986. In his retirement announcement, he thanked the residents of Oktibbeha County for allowing him to serve for more than 30 years and called his experience "an honor and a privilege."
"I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with the many fine men and women in the court system and law enforcement community," he said. "Their professionalism and dedication to the community have made my job a pleasure as I move on in my profession."
Both Starkville Police Chief David Lindley and Sheriff Steve Gladney called Carpenter a faithful public servant and said both the county and the city would be hard-pressed to find a replacement with his experience.
"Roy has been a very large asset to the criminal justice system," Lindley said. "He has years of experience and ability in not only city court, but justice court, youth court and with handling appeals for circuit court. He will be sorely missed."
"Coming up through the Highway Patrol years ago, I've known him for a long time and consider us to be friends," Gladney said. "He's done a good job and has worked hard for this community. The county will definitely miss him."
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch