Timothy G. Vaughn, District Attorney for the Oconee Judicial Circuit, was announced “District Attorney of the Year for 2016” on July 17 during the 2016 Summer Conference sponsored by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia (PAC).
PAC presented its annual Summer Conference from July 17-20, 2016 in Jekyll Island, Georgia at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Each year during the conference, the District Attorneys’ Association of Georgia (DAAG) presents this award to recognize outstanding leadership and dedication in the field of prosecution.
Vaughn stated, “I am very honored and humbled to receive this award. I have been truly blessed through the years to have a very supportive wife and family. The work of the District Attorney’s office is a collaborative effort of the staff along with the law enforcement agencies who serve the public with us.”
Vaughn has served as a prosecutor for more than 30 years. He began his career in the Oconee Circuit District Attorney’s Office in 1985 as an Assistant District Attorney. He was promoted in March of 1989 to Chief Assistant District Attorney. Later in 1994, Vaughn was appointed District Attorney by Governor Zell Miller to fill an unexpired term. Since then Vaughn has held the position of District Attorney will only one contested election.
During his 31 years as a prosecutor, Vaughn has tried hundreds of cases, several of those being murder cases. Vaughn currently has six (6) assistant district attorneys that cover six (6) counties, a circuit that spans nearly 2000 square miles. His office handles all felonies and misdemeanors, as well as juvenile court. With such a heavy flow of cases, Vaughn is not only an administrator, he carries a full share of the caseload.
Vaughn was nominated for this award by Chief Assistant District Attorney Lauren Shurling. Shurling says of Vaughn, “Tim treats everyone with respect – from the victims, to defendants, to judges, and to the citizens he represents. Members of law enforcement and defense attorneys joke that even the defendants whom he sends to prison like and respect him.”
Vaughn is also very active in the community. He can often be found cooking for the students participating in the 4-H and FFA livestock show or serving as a deacon at his church. He has been married to his wife, Paula, for 28 years and they have two children, Will and Tana. Shurling stated that “as a boss, no one compares to Tim. He is a family man and encourages his employees to put family first”.
In the past few years the Oconee Judicial Circuit has made national news in the handling of two murder cases. One being a murder of a college student from Middle Georgia State University. Vaughn was praised for his leadership in guiding the case from the moment the student was reported missing to when he pled guilty to a life sentence. He was able to provide relief and closure to the victim’s family.
“Tim’s dedication to the citizens of the Oconee Judicial Circuit and his contributions to the profession are just two examples of why he is so deserving of this award,” says PAC Executive Director Chuck Spahos.
When presenting Vaughn with his award, Shurling stated, “A district attorney’s job is not only to win cases, but to serve the public and to seek justice. Tim Vaughn does that on a daily basis, with integrity and honor.”