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Area DA announces resignation

District Attorney Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald IV announced hisretirement Wednesday and said he plans to open a privatepractice.

McDonald has more than 30 years of state and local service. Hisresignation takes effect Sunday.

“I would like to thank my staff, all the law enforcementagencies in our district and our citizens for the support andassistance they have given my office over the past years,” McDonaldsaid in a written statement. “I credit my staff and law enforcementwith the successes we have had and I accept responsibility for anymistakes we may have made.”

McDonald, who prosecutes cases in the 15th Circuit CourtDistrict that includes Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion andPearl River counties, said Gov. Haley Barbour will appoint adistrict attorney to serve until the 2007 state and districtelections. He had already notified law enforcement officials of hisdecision to not seek re-election in 2007 before Wednesday’sannouncement.

“While I do not believe in mandatory term limits … I do feelthere comes a time when others should have an opportunity to bringtheir talents and vision to public office,” he wrote.

McDonald said he plans to open a private practice in Picayune onJan. 2.

“My only comment on the future district attorney election is tosay that the job and criminal law has become more and more complexand the public will be best served by electing a person who hasextensive experience as a prosecutor,” he said.