District Attorney Bill Cox told members of the Pachyderm Club on Monday that he will not seek re-election in next year's voting.
Mr. Cox said, "I love this job." But he said he is now 66 and will be 67 at the time of the August general election next year.
Noting that he will be in his mid-70s at the end of the next eight-year term, he said he had concerns that he would be able to give his full focus on the job "six or seven years down the road."
Mr. Cox stated, "I have an obligation to the people of Hamilton County to give them my best every day."
He said he told his staff prior to the luncheon speech at Republican Headquarters at Main and Chestnut.
Mr. Cox said the decision came "after a lot of prayer and soul-searching."
He also said in the speech that crime has been decreasing here and across the country in the past decade. Due to a variety of factors, "it has reduced significantly," he said.
Mr. Cox said prosecutors are required to turn over all parts of a case to the defense, but the defense does not have to. As a result, he said, "We get ambushed a lot. They produce a whole passel of witnesses that we've never heard of."
He said both sides should have to make full discovery to the other.
Mr. Cox said he was bothered by the fact that some courts have ruled that the prosecution is not allowed to show a photo of the victim to the jury. He said the prosecution should be able to "personalize" the victim.
Mr. Cox has nearly 40 years’ experience in the criminal justice system. In 1972, after completing his military service, he joined the Chattanooga Police Department. He began as a patrol officer. While with the police department he continued his education, attending college while off duty, and obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
After graduation from UTC he commuted to Nashville several nights a week for four years in order to obtain a law degree from the Nashville School of Law. After receiving his law degree and passing the bar, he became a prosecutor for the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office.