Crum to quit as DA

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 11, 2008


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – For the first time in almost three decades, St. John Parish will not have John Crum working in the district attorney’s office after the next election this fall.

St. John D.A. John Crum made his first public confirmation this week about his intentions to resign his position as district attorney, telling L’Observateur that he has definitely decided to step down after almost 30 years working in the office.

Crum has served as St. John D.A. for 23 years, since winning election in 1985. He began working in the office in 1979 under then D.A. Harry Morel, serving as an assistant D.A.

Crum told L’Observateur that now at the age of 63, he is ready to slow down and enjoy life a little more without a full-time job as his daily obligation.

“I’ve got three kids who have all just finished in college, and my wife and I want to spend more time seeing them, as well as traveling a little ourselves,” he said. “So yes, I have decided it’s time for me to call it quits here.”

That brings up the next big question for St. John Parish, of what always seems to be another high-profile election on the horizon.

Who will step up to seek the D.A.’s position?

Talk around town has all fingers pointing to current Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Tom Daley as a definite entry in the race, while the only other candidate who has confirmed he is entering the race is local attorney Kerry Brown.

Daley did not confirm to L’Observateur whether he will enter the race or not, even though his name comes up every time the conversation turns to the district attorney’s election here in St. John.

But that is because Daley is unable to announce his intentions for the position, unless he is ready to immediately step down from his Court of Appeals position. State law says that if Daley begins to accept campaign funds, or announces for the position, then he must resign his current seat.

“I can’t comment about it right now,” Daley said, not saying anything close to a denial of his intentions. “That’s all I can say for now.”

Brown, on the other hand, has been publicly confirming to friends and family that he plans to run for the position. He made it clear to L’Observateur in scheduling a series of opening advertisements for the position that will start in the newspaper next week.

As for Crum, he said he has no regrets about the job done by his department since he had been in office, and complimented his staff for helping him run what he considered to be a very successful D.A.’s office.

“I’m different from most of these other politicians in that I don’t get out in the public eye at all,” he said. “I may have won a political position, but I’ve never been a politician.

“As for the job my department has done while I’ve been in office, I’m very satisfied with what we have accomplished. The job of this office is to prosecute criminals and I think we’ve done that very well, but that’s because I have had a great staff of people. They’ve done a great job for me, and helping us to run a good office,” he added.

Crum said he has no other job lined up right now, and plans to just relax when he leaves office, and see what comes along.

“I expect some things may come up, but for now there are no specific plans other than taking it easy with my wife,” he said, noting he has been married for 38 years. “My dad died when he was 67, and I’m about to be 63, so I figure I need to start enjoying life.”