Hancock Circuit Clerk Kendra Necaise, court staff and the Hancock County Board of Supervisors held a brief ceremony on Monday to pay their respects to long-time Circuit Judge Roger T. Clark.
Clark, also known as “The Gentleman Judge,” recently announced his retirement effective Nov. 30 from the Second Circuit Court District of Hancock, Harrison and Stone counties. He was first appointed to the bench in 2005 and was re-elected in 2010, then again in 2014 and in 2018.
“We greatly appreciate Judge Clark’s many years of service, as well as his professional demeanor in working with my staff, myself and the citizens of Hancock County,” Necaise said. “He has done an amazing job and we will truly miss him.”
Hancock County Supervisor Scotty Adam read a resolution from the board commending Clark’s long record of public service on behalf of the citizens of Hancock County.
Hancock County Attorney Gary Yarborough also presented Clark with a framed painting depicting the historic Hancock County Courthouse.
Clark thanked those assembled on Monday for their kind words and their own efforts on behalf of the county and the state.
“It has been a pleasure to serve the people of this district and I will miss it after almost 16 years on the bench,” Judge Clark said in his letter to the governor announcing his resignation.
Clark grew up in Iuka and moved to Biloxi to work for the telephone company after he earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Mississippi. After he earned a law degree at the University of Mississippi School of Law, he moved back to the Gulf Coast. He had a civil law practice for 35 years before he was appointed to the bench. He practiced for 32 years with the firm of Bryant, Clark, Dukes and Blakeslee.
Gov. Tate Reeves will appoint a replacement to serve through the end of 2021. A special election will be held in November 2021 for a one-year term.
Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph appointed retired Circuit Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson of Natchez as a special judge to preside over the Hancock County term of Circuit Court from Nov. 30 through Dec. 18.