MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile County District Attorney Ashely Rich announced she will be retiring at the end of her current term in January of 2023.
Rich had previously announced her plans for re-election, but she says a new law went into effect in October that will now allow her to retire. It was not in effect in July when she announced her re-election campaign. The new law allows her to combine her 15 years as an Assistant District Attorney with her 12 years as the elected District Attorney, to get full retirement benefits. Before this law went into effect, the two positions were in different retirement systems.
Rich says they were aware of the law passing but didn’t know when it would be in effect, or what the parameters would be for how the retirement would work. Before the new law, a District Attorney would need to complete 18 years, or three terms, in office to get the full benefits.
She says this was a personal decision that she made to retire, and she got emotional as she made the announcement.
When asked about her legacy in office, other than her cases, she said the accomplishment she is most proud of is the salaries of the employees at the District Attorney’s office. She fought for higher salaries and the Mobile County District Attorney’s office is now one of the highest-paid DA’s offices in the state of Alabama.
Rich was first elected District Attorney in 2010 and was the first female DA in Mobile County. Prior to that, she was the Assistant DA for 15 years.
She said she has no set plans for the future right now. She said, “certainly I am not going anywhere, I certainly want to continue to serve this community in some capacity. I’m open for suggestions and I certainly want to do what I can to serve this community in some capacity. As of any specific plans right now, I do not have any specific plans. I’ve got a year to figure that out.”
While he has not formally announced, Rich said her Chief Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood will be announcing his plans to run for DA, and Rich says she endorses him.
Her last day in office will be January 2023.