Former DA Lampton recalled for integrity

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, August 18, 2011

Former U.S. Attorney and area DistrictAttorney Dunn Lampton died Wednesday at Baptist Medical Center inJackson, officials said.

    Lampton, 60, of McComb, died of natural causes, Hinds CountyCoroner Sharon Grishman-Stewart told the Associated Press.

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    Before his time as a U.S. attorney, Lampton served Lincoln, Pikeand Walthall counties as the district attorney. At one time, CopiahCounty was also part of Lampton’s district.

    “I think it’s just a sad day,” said Brookhaven City Attorney JoeFernald. “He still had a lot left to give.”

    Fernald, who tried a number of cases against Lampton, said he knewthe former district attorney to be a very effective and aggressivelitigator who organized a professional staff and allowed them to dotheir jobs.

    “He had what you wanted in a district attorney,” Fernald said. “Ihad a great deal of respect for his abilities. If he knew of apublic official breaking the law, he would go after them with avengeance. As a district attorney, as a manager and as a litigator,he was a force.”

    Fernald, also 60, said he knew Lampton to be a good father, a goodhusband and a good citizen who surrounded himself with qualitypeople.

    “I think it’s just sad he died so young,” he continued. “If you’re60 and any time someone your age or younger dies, it kind of has achilling effect on the rest of your day. If you go out on the golfcourse, you kind of wonder if it’s going to be your last timebecause you may not be around tomorrow.”

    Lampton had been in poor health since a Jeep accident in 2007 onhis Pike County farm, and he suffered from pneumonia in the lastseveral weeks before his death. According to the AP, Lampton hadbeen in intensive care on a ventilator when died.

    Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson recalled Lampton as beingdedicated to his job and to the people he worked for and with.

    “He was a good friend all through the years,” Henderson said. “I’mvery sad and pained to hear of his death. He was a good man. That’sabout all I can say. It was an honor to work with him, but evenmore of an honor to know him as a man and as a friend.”

    As district attorney, Lampton worked a lot with Henderson andformer Lincoln County Sheriff Lynn Boyte. Boyte rememberedLampton’s integrity and morally driven spirit that he brought tohis job.

    “You couldn’t ask for a better guy to work with than Dunn Lampton,”he said. “He made his decisions on what was ethically right. Hedidn’t base a decision on what would be good for him politically.He upheld his oath of office as well as anyone that I’ve seen.That’s the kind of district attorney he was.”

    Boyte recalled Lampton’s “tiger” spirit and how he never let anyonestand in his was of doing the right thing.

    “He would go into a sticky situation,” he said, “and not let anyoneget in his way. He would stand up to anybody for what’s right.”

    Lampton is survived by his wife, Suzanne, and his two children,Sydney and Will. Funeral arrangements for Lampton have not beenmade.