(WICHITA, Kan.) — From DUI to death penalty cases, the District Attorney prosecutes all major crimes in Sedgwick County. "I love it, I think I could have stayed forever but I looked at my watch and said it's time to go," said District Attorney Nola Foulston.
She announced Friday she won't seek a sixth term for office. "It's probably the best thing in the world to let someone else come in," she said. So for the first time in almost a quarter century, the DA's office will have a new leader.
"Today's the day you say thank you for your service, good luck and good health in whatever you decide to do," said former deputy district attorney Kevin O'Connor to Foulston. He left the DA's office after working with her for 17 years. "It was the right thing for me to do because I no longer felt comfortable there, so I resigned and left," he said.
He's now considering a run for her seat, but isn't ready to make a formal decision. "I do think I'd be uniquely qualified to be District Attorney but I'm concentrating on the work I'm doing now." He's currently doing contract work for the Attorney General. O'Connor says he has a plan and will make a decision when he and his family are ready.
One person already filed for the seat, current deputy district attorney Marc Bennett. He was out of town Friday and not available for comment. Foulston says she's not going to endorse any candidate. "I think it's up to the voters to make that decision," she said.
But she has strong opinions on the kind of person who should replace her. "They have to have integrity, be a good trial lawyer, have excellent administrative skills and be able to deal with people," Foulston said. She says it's a tough job and leaving is the toughest decision she's ever made. She will stay in office through January of 2013. She says it will be business as usual until then.