2016-12-22 / Front Page

Bill Doupé sworn in as DA for Toombs Judicial Circuit

By JANE ELLYN AARON
staff reporter


After 32 years the Toombs Judicial Circuit saw the swearing-in of new District Attorney, Bill Doupé, who was joined (l-r) by his sons Hank and Mick, his wife Kit, and family friend Jeff Beinke. Judge Valerie Burley with the McDuffie County Probate Court officiated the ceremony. (Photo by Jane Ellyn Aaron). After 32 years the Toombs Judicial Circuit saw the swearing-in of new District Attorney, Bill Doupé, who was joined (l-r) by his sons Hank and Mick, his wife Kit, and family friend Jeff Beinke. Judge Valerie Burley with the McDuffie County Probate Court officiated the ceremony. (Photo by Jane Ellyn Aaron). After enjoying 32 years of “consistent and dedicated” service from its current District Attorney, the Toombs Judicial Circuit saw the swearing-in of a new District Attorney – Bill Doupé – who was honored at a ceremony held at the McDuffie County Government Center celebrating his induction into the position of the circuit’s chief prosecutor.

Doupé will replace retiring District Attorney Dennis Sanders, who in total committed 44 years of service to the Toombs circuit, which represents the citizens of Glascock, Lincoln, McDuffie, Taliaferro, Warren, and Wilkes counties.

“Each one of us in this room has had many dreams and aspirations. Today we celebrate the dream of one man who hoped to become a district attorney someday,” Robin Dudley, chairman for the committee to elect Doupé, said, addressing a room packed with supporters. “Congratulations to Bill Doupé, our new District Attorney for the Toombs Circuit.

“Bill, we know that you will work diligently as our district attorney, bringing fairness, justice, and safety to us. Your integrity, your unending discipline, leadership skills, respect for the law, and passion for serving the people in our communities will no doubt be the qualities that are needed to lead our district attorney office into the future.”

As Doupé stood to take his oath of office, presided over by Judge Valerie Burley with the McDuffie probate court, he was joined by his wife Kit, his two sons Hank and Mick, and family friend Jeff Beinke.

“All I can tell you is that I am very excited and very proud to be your District Attorney,” Doupé remarked. “I am very much looking forward to what we can do together to make our communities even stronger. I am just happy as all get-out to be before you today to take over this position.

“McDuffie County has been very welcoming, and the rest of the counties of the Toombs Circuit are equally welcoming,” he continued. “Most of you know that I’ve been assigned primarily to Wilkes and Warren Counties, and when I go to either of those counties I feel like I grew up there, I went to high school there, and everyone accepts me and puts up with me – It’s a great feeling. I’m really excited to get into Lincoln County and Glascock County and Taliaferro County and to be known in that way in those counties as well.”

In light of Sanders saying farewell to the position of district attorney, Doupé noted that he appreciates all the help he’s received from him over the past 19 years. Doupé expressed that he wishes to continue in the “same strong vein” that Sanders is leaving behind.

Doupé has over 26 years of courtroom experience, successfully prosecuting a wide range of criminal cases. He has five years of experience as a public defender serving in Los Angeles, California, and Fulton County, as well as 20 years of working as a prosecutor in Fulton County and in the Toombs Circuit.

In addition to his legal experience, Doupé has played an active roll in his community by serving as a trustee and Chairman of the Board for University Hospital McDuffie; serving as an executive board member for University Health Systems in Augusta; and serving on the Thomson McDuffie Recreation Board, while also coaching Little League for over 14 years.

Also addressing the audience was retiring Chief Judge of the Toombs Circuit Roger W. Dunaway Jr. who expressed that “Bill is a master of his trade, he is an excellent trial lawyer. I love the way he presents a case.

“He is always prepared. I’ve never seen him surprised or caught off guard in a trial. He is always professional in every sense of the word, he is always respectful to everyone, to the court, to his opposing council, to the jurors, to the witnesses,” Dunaway said. “You’ve always been a gentleman both in the courtroom and outside, I guess you could say it like we would say in the south – that ‘he was raised right.’”

Dunaway impressed the importance of the role that the district attorney plays within the courts system, stating that it is a job that requires absolute dedication because it is where both criminal action and justice begin. It is a job that’s about more than winning cases, but is a position that must insure that the innocent go free, and it should ensure that no one is put under the burden of criminal prosecution unless evidence, facts, and the law are justified.

“It’s a job that requires wisdom, good judgement, discernment, and intelligence, and Bill has each and every one of those traits,” Dunaway closed.

The ceremony was followed by a reception held at the Doupé home, to which the community was invited. Invocation and closing prayer for the event were provided by Rev. Danny McClure of Ford Creek Baptist Church and Rev. Ed Anderson of New Ford Baptist Church. THE LINCOLN JOURNAL, Lincolnton, Georgia - December 22, 2016

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