Nearly twenty-four years of service in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office is about to come to an end for District Attorney Herbert E. Franklin.
Franklin, who is also known as “Buzz”, said he first entered the prosecutor’s office, not as District Attorney, but fresh out of law school. Franklin said he looked around for what to do next after law school. One of the area attorneys told him there was an opening in the District Attorney’s office. Franklin applied for the job and interviewed with David L. “Red” Lomenick, who was the District Attorney at that time and the Superior Court Judge Paul Painter. Franklin said he was hired and worked a few years as a prosecutor before moving to private practice.
In 1996, District Attorney Ralph Van Pelt, Jr. was appointed as Superior Court Judge which opened the District Attorney’s spot for the Lookout Mountain Circuit. Franklin said he ran against five or six other candidates and was lucky enough to get elected and took office as District Attorney in January 1997.
“It’s been a good run,” Franklin said. “I have enjoyed it.”
Chief Assistant District Attorney Chris Arndt, has been appointed to replace Franklin for the remainder of Franklin’s term. Arndt is also running unopposed and will officially take the District Attorney’s position in January 2021. Franklin said Arndt is a career prosecutor having worked in the District Attorney’s office since 1994.
“He does a really good job,” Franklin said of Arndt. “I have no hesitation leaving it in his hands. He is a very good attorney.”
Franklin said he will miss the interesting cases of which he has had several and the fact that there is never a dull moment and the District Attorney’s office is always busy, but mainly he will miss the people.
“I have worked with a lot of good people over the years,” Franklin said. “I will miss them.”
Looking forward, Franklin said he will be seeing more of his grandkids and plans to get involved more in community activities and the Optimist Club.
“I certainly appreciate everybody’s help and support over the years, particularly my wife,” Franklin said. “The people of Dade County have always been good to me. The people in Dade County really got out and supported me in the election. I am really humbled and grateful.”
A drop-in retirement celebration is to be held at the Walker County Civic Center for Franklin on Friday, July 10 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
*Due to the Governor’s Orders a maximum of 50 people will be allowed to gather at one time and those in attendance at the Drop-in event are asked to be considerate of this as well as maintaining social distancing guidelines.