ViewPoint: Thanks to great public servants

December 23, 2008

As 2008 draws to a close, we bid farewell to some distinguished public servants.

First elected back in 1984, Dougherty County Sheriff Jamil Saba is now retiring. Sheriff Saba led the county well; he was at the helm when a new multi-million dollar Dougherty County Jail was built, and he has won praise from sheriffs around the nation for his dedication and committment.

Likewise for the Sheriff of adjoining Lee County.

Once a professional baseball player, Harold Breeden stepped up in his role as Sheriff of that county.

Elected in 1989, Breeden guided Lee County through tremendous growing pains and had a reputation for running a tight ship.

Just last year, his department busted one of the biggest drug rings in recent South Georgia history.

Both these men left their marks on their counties they serve and they are to be commended for their decades of service.

We salute them for a job well done and we wish them well.

We also say goodbye to DOugherty County's Chief Superior Court Judge Loring Gray.

Gray served on the bench for 23 years and presided over thousands of cases, both civil and criminal.

He had a reputation of being fair and even-handed.

His portrait will now hang in the courthouse as a permanent tribute to a judge who worked to ensure justice prevailed.

And finally, Dougherty County's District Attorney, Ken Hodges, retired this year.

Hodges served 12 years as D.A. and was a passionate prosecutor.

When he took office, he worked tirelessly to alleviate a huge backlog of cases, and he leaves the  DA's office in much better shape than he found it.

We commend him for a job well done and wish him well in his new endeavors.