Newly elected District Attorney, Rosemary Green, who will take Campbell’s place on Jan. 1, 2013, opened the evening with remarks about Campbell and thanked him for his service.
Green went on to provide reflections on the life of Campbell from when he met his wife, while stationed at Ft. Benning, Ga. in 1969, to the birth of his beloved children and grandchildren. Green continued recalling memories of Campbell’s history in public office, as well as his campaigning adventures.
Campbell was the first Assistant District Attorney for the Cherokee Circuit Court, and served from 1976 –1980, where he tried more than 75 cases, according to Green. After Campbell completed his term as Assistant D.A., he went into private practice, while serving as attorney for the City of Calhoun, and the Gordon County Board of Education.
In 1992, Campbell began his campaign for election as District Attorney, which he won in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and finally in 2008, serving 159 grand juries, soon to be 160 next week, involved in 23 criminal trials, and has tried 40 murder cases, according to Green.
“He has hired many young attorney’s a lot of them are in this room, some are on the bench now, one stands before you,” said Green. “We have grown up under his guidance and leadership.”
Green concluded her speech with well wishes for Campbell’s next phase of his life, after 20 years of dedication to public safety.
“Joe Campbell, God has rained his blessings down on you. You have been able to share those gifts with everyone in this room in some form or capacity. So our wish for you is that this next phase, and this next journey is filled with happiness and love, just like these past years,” said Green. “We love you and we will treasure you.”
Following Green’s remarks, Campbell took the stage to thank those in attendance, citing the biggest lesson he learned in all of his years as a public servant, is that “it takes a team.”
Campbell cited many components to the team he says he has had the pleasure of working with over the years. Campbell explained members of the bench, law enforcement, staff, family, friends, and volunteers all made him a “rich person.”
“Mr. Campbell always managed public funds wisely,” said Gordon County Chief Deputy Sheriff Robert Paris. “He has been fiscally responsible and is the finest trial attorney I have had the pleasure of working with and I hate to see him go.”
Paris, and other members of Calhoun and Gordon County law enforcement attended the reception, along with newly elected Clerk of Superior Court, Grant Walraven, among others.
Campbell’s wife, Sherry, commented the experience has been a humbling one, and is thankful for the community’s support of their family.
Campbell’s daughter, McCall Govignon, expressed pride in her father and all that he has accomplished.
“The results are truly what should happen and that there is a true spirit of justice, that permeates our courtrooms in this circuit. I truly feel and that there is a divine presence of the Holy Spirit for justice and in all of this that I have seen in verdicts, I marvel. They are miracles that happen in the courtroom and I have been able to participate and it is something to see,” said Campbell in his parting words to friends and family. “It’s been a privilege and an honor to serve. I put my head on the pillow at night, and I thank the lord for that opportunity, because it is a blessing, I didn’t know what we were getting into in ‘92, but we had fun, it was quite a journey.”