Cobb DA Reynolds to Head GBI

Vic Reynolds, Cobb County district attorney (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

Vic Reynolds, Cobb County district attorney (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

Gov. Brian Kemp has named Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds to head the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

"Vic Reynolds is a courageous leader with unmatched experience," Kemp said in an announcement Friday. "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."

Reynolds, 62, was elected district attorney in 2012, leaving his private practice as a criminal defense attorney. He worked alongside Marietta defense attorney Jimmy Berry, one of the best-known death penalty defense lawyers in the state.

It’s true that Reynolds has focused on gang prosecutions. He targeted sex trafficking, as well, pulling together different branches of law enforcement to carry out arrests and rescue victims. But in a county known for prison terms that can run toward centuries, Reynolds also worked to reduce unreasonably long sentences. He also promoted treatment courts to help nonviolent offenders avoid jail and closed some old cases dating back 30 years or more.

Reynolds previously served as a magistrate judge and a prosecutor. But he started out as a police officer in his hometown of Rome, Georgia. He worked his way through Georgia State University law school.

When he decided to run for district attorney, he said he had been in every position in a courtroom—except defendant.

His wife of more than 30 years, Holly Reynolds—a Cobb County schoolteacher—was an energetic campaigner for him in a wide-open race to replace longtime District Attorney Pat Head. After serving his first term, he ran unopposed for reelection and was named Marietta Citizen of the Year in 2016.

Vic and Holly Reynolds have two grown daughters. He is known for his fondness of early-morning workouts, sweet tea, popcorn and golden retrievers.

“I am deeply honored Governor Kemp has appointed me to be the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation,” Reynolds said in a Facebook post. “I look forward to continuing my service alongside dedicated law enforcement professionals from all across our state. Our top priority from day one will be to ensure a safer, stronger Georgia.”