ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County District Attorney’s Office has seen some changes and new faces come on board recently, as District Attorney Jon David continues to strengthen his team.
“I’m only as good as the people I surround myself with,” David said. “And we have what I think is a winning team here in Bladen County.”
Part of the 13th Prosecutorial District that also serves Columbus and Brunswick counties, the Bladen County office has nearly doubled in size over recent months — thanks in part to grants that are helping to pay for a drug treatment legal assistant’s position and domestic violence legal assistant’s position.
Along with the new positions created, David’s goal is continue bringing top-notch talent to Bladen County.
“Part of the synergy we’re trying to create includes bringing in people with solid backgrounds and experiences from other areas and agencies,” he said, “along with a mix of really talented local people.
“I have been focused on pushing more resources into Bladen County than it’s ever had before,” he added.
Glenn Emery, one of David’s assistant district attorneys who handles violent felony and juvenile cases, said the need for additional resources has recently become even more evident.
“Where we might have had four or five homicides over a five-year period here, we’ve had that many in the past six months,” he said.
Stepping into the newer positions in Bladen County, thanks to the grants, have been Jason Britt, a county native who was recently shifted from the Brunswick County office back to Elizabethtown, and Kayla Johnson — each of whom are assisting with domestic violence cases. David said he still has to fill a vacant prosecutor position.
One area David is most proud of is the fact that one of his former prosecutors, Fred Gore, is now an elected District Court judge and, in November, a current prosecutor, Ashley Gore, who is running unopposed for District Court judge, will take a seat on the bench.
“That says a lot about the kind of high-quality talent we have attracted here,” David said.
He went on to praise the job being done by his team, including Investigator Scott Pait; prosecutors Courtney Sanford, Jacob Ward, Gore and Emery; legal assistants Kelly Martin, Kelly Starkloff, Tammy Collins, Britt and Johnson; and administrative assistant Ashley Bullard.
Including the 10 in Bladen County, David’s roster is 35 strong within his district.
“Our jurisdiction is the size of Delaware, and those 35 people do the job in my name,” David said. “They should get the credit for the job they do for the District Attorney’s Office.”
David added that two of his team, Irene Riel and Tammy Collins, are Bladen County residents who work out of the Columbus County office but have assisted with work in Elizabethtown.
“I’m really proud of the team we have assembled here and throughout the district,” David said. “I think the people in this county can rest assured this office is responsive, compassionate and thorough.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.