Cobb DA Reynolds tapped to lead GBI
Cobb’s top prosecutor will soon become Georgia’s top law enforcement official.
Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to be the next director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, state officials announced last Friday.
As leader of the GBI, the 62-year-old Reynolds will lead a staff of more than 800.
Reynolds’ last day in Cobb will be Feb. 15, DA’s office spokesperson Kim Isaza said.
With the Cobb district attorney’s office vacated, it will be filled by an appointment by Kemp, with that appointee keeping the seat for the remainder of Reynolds’ term, which expires at the end of 2020, according to Janine Eveler of Cobb Elections.
No appointee had been named by the Kemp administration as of the start of the month. Reynolds’ office has two second-in-commands: Jesse Evans and John Melvin, both of whom are chief assistant district attorneys, Isaza said.
“Vic Reynolds is a courageous leader with unmatched experience,” Kemp said in a statement. “As district attorney, Vic led efforts to dismantle gangs and protect local families from crime and violence. As GBI director, he will work around the clock to ensure a safer, stronger Georgia.”
A former police officer, chief magistrate judge, prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, Reynolds won the Republican primary for district attorney of the Cobb Judicial Circuit in 2012, and he won the office without opposition in that year’s general election. He ran unopposed for reelection in 2016.
“I am deeply honored Governor Kemp has appointed me to be the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. I look forward to continuing my service alongside dedicated law enforcement professionals from all across our state,” Reynolds said in a Friday news release. “Our top priority from day one will be to ensure a safer, stronger Georgia.”
Reynolds had been an early supporter of Kemp in last year’s Republican gubernatorial primary before the latter’s runoff victory against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
When Kemp unveiled his plan to combat street gangs during an April press conference on Marietta Square, Reynolds was at his side. After Kemp’s election, Reynolds was appointed to his transition team, assigned to the governmental relations subcommittee.
Reynolds will replace Scott Dutton, whom outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal appointed as interim director on Jan. 1 of this year following the Dec. 31 retirement of Vernon Keenan. Keenan was appointed GBI director by then-Gov.-elect Sonny Perdue in 2003 and held the job for nearly 16 years through both the Perdue and Deal administrations.
Born and raised in Rome, Reynolds is a 1975 graduate of Model High School in Floyd County. In 1979 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern University, in Statesboro.
After graduating, Reynolds returned to Rome, where he was in law enforcement for four years. In 1986, he graduated from law school at Georgia State University and began prosecuting felony cases as an assistant district attorney in Fulton and Cobb counties.
He was a prosecutor in Cobb when he was appointed as chief magistrate in 1994 before elected to a full term in 1996. As chief magistrate, his duties included presiding over the Cobb County Drug Court. He left the bench in 1999 and began practicing criminal-defense law.
As he finished his first term as Cobb’s district attorney in late 2016, he was named the Marietta Citizen of the Year by the Marietta Area Council, a subset of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.
Reynolds and his wife of over 30 years, Holly, have two daughters.