Pulaski Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley released a statement today saying he won’t seek re-election in 2022.
His decision is related to a medical condition.
For the last several months I have been experiencing severe vertigo that has not responded to traditional treatments. I have had numerous tests that have not pinpointed the cause and been on several different medications that have not alleviated the problem. While vertigo is not life threatening, due to the seriousness of my condition, it has made my daily life difficult.
At this time and in fairness to everyone involved I want you to know that I will not be seeking re-election and will retire at the end of my term in 2022 It has been a humble honor and privilege to be a prosecutor since 1991.
Jegley oversaw prosecutions in the state’s largest county, meaning the biggest load of criminal cases with a staff of almost four dozen prosecutors. I thought he managed to balance well the crush of crime against complaints about police misconduct and the need for reform in the justice system.
In doing so, he occasionally drew criticism from all sides. Example: Though he tried twice to convict a well-connected police officer for killing a suspect, he still drew criticism from police critics who say he didn’t try hard enough. The current Little Rock police chief, Keith Humphrey, hasn’t been happy with some of Jegley’s decisions on handling matters referred by his office. Jegley also drew fire for not prosecuting Charles Starks in the killing of Bradley Blackshire. Humphrey fired Starks contrary to recommendations of officers in the line of command.
Jegley is about 68, a 1974 graduate of Hendrix College, and had been expected to run again for the office before the health issue arose. The office covers Perry as well as Pulaski County.
After law school in Little Rock, he did stints with the administrative office of the Supreme Court, as legal adviser to the North Little Rock police, the Court of Appeals and the law school legal clinic. When Mark Stodola became prosecutor in 1991, he hired Jegley as his chief deputy. When Stodola left the job to run for Congress, Jegley ran to fill the post in 1996 and has been there since. He’s never had an opponent in eight races, which tells you something.