Scott Colom is moving on to a new position and the city of Columbus will have to determine who will fill his shoes as city prosecutor.
Colom, who’s served in the part-time position since 2013, won the District 16 District Attorney election against incumbent Forrest Allgood on Tuesday. He will take the oath for the new position in January.
Colom told The Dispatch he planned to submit his resignation from the city prosecutor position to Mayor Robert Smith on Friday. A few options open after that, depending on what the Columbus City Council decides to do.
“I’m willing to stay on as long as they need me until I take the oath as district attorney,” Colom said. “Or they can hire an interim prosecutor to fill in until they get a permanent person hired.”
Colom said the transition should not be difficult for whoever follows him.
“Because it’s misdemeanors, there’s usually not a big backlog,” he said. “The case load is such that whoever comes in should be able to just step in and get going. That’s what I did when I first came in.”
Councilmen expressed differing thoughts when The Dispatch contacted them Friday.
Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor said he wasn’t opposed to letting Colom stay on for a time. However, he noted it might be beneficial to Colom to let him move on early.
“I would love to have him hang around, but I’m sure he has some things he’d like to do — probably some personal things with his family before he takes on this new endeavor that he’s earned through an election,” he said. “I’m not opposed to him moving on to a new chapter in his life. He’s a very bright young man I’ve known as he went up through school and I personally have the utmost respect for him.”
Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin said he wasn’t sure of the situation for finding an immediate replacement for Colom. He said what the council does may depend on what options are available for selecting an interim prosecutor.
“I don’t know if there’s even anyone interested in the position,” Gavin said. “It’s probably a little far out — I don’t think there’s enough speculation as to what the council is going to do. But if he decides he can, I’m not opposed to him staying on for a short period of time to help the city out. But we may have someone out there who’s ready to move in to the position. I just don’t know at this point.”
Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Box said he had not yet given the situation much thought. He said what to do with both Colom’s and Police Chief Tony Carleton’s positions will likely be topics of discussion at the council’s next meeting.
“I haven’t even thought about it,” Box said. “I’m sure we’ll take that up next time when we talk about the chief. It will probably be in the same discussion. I imagine we’ll go with an interim prosecutor, but I’m not sure.”
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.