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Fort Smith hires judge for prosecutor job

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | November 22, 2020 at 8:47 a.m.

FORT SMITH -- Sebastian County District Judge Sam Terry has been hired as the new city prosecuting attorney.

Terry, 41, will begin his new job Jan. 4, and report directly to City Administrator Carl Geffken, a Thursday news release from the city states.

"We are honored and excited to have landed such a uniquely qualified individual for this position," Geffken said in the release. "Sam has a long history of leadership and a multitude of professional accolades in the community. We found this speaks volumes about his commitment to the city, and complements his impressive professional experience that will be incredibly helpful to the city."

This takes place after the previous city prosecutor, John Settle, died Oct. 26, 2019, at the age of 67.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve as the prosecuting attorney for the City of Fort Smith, and I appreciate the confidence that Mr. Geffken and the Board of Directors have placed in me for this important job," Terry said in the release. "I will continue to uphold the law and to treat all litigants with fairness, dignity, and respect, as I have during my entire career. I am proud to call Fort Smith my home, and I am excited to continue working to make it a wonderful, safe place to live."

Terry received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in 2002, according to the release. He went on to attain his Juris Doctor from the same institution in 2005, which is also when he was admitted to the Arkansas Bar Association.

A former deputy prosecuting attorney for Sebastian County, Terry was appointed to his position of district judge by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2019, according to the release. He also previously served as a trust officer and assistant vice president at First National Bank of Fort Smith, and a special associate justice for the Supreme Court of Arkansas.


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