Jackson seeks DA’s job | RecordCourier.com

Jackson seeks DA’s job

by Sheila Gardner

Saying he’s been preparing 10 years for the job, lawyer Mark Jackson announced Wednesday he would be a Republican candidate for Douglas County district attorney.

Jackson’s announcement followed by one day District Attorney Scott Doyle’s decision not to seek election to a fifth term.

Jackson, 42, has been a deputy district attorney for five years.

He is a 37-year resident of Douglas County and a 1981 graduate of Douglas High School.

Even though the election is almost a year away, Jackson has received the endorsement of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Protective Association.

“As a deputy district attorney, Mark Jackson has consistently proven himself to be the top prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office.

“He has aggressively led the county in the prosecution of methamphetamine-related crimes and has taken a zero tolerance approach in those cases,” the sheriff’s association said in news release.

The association includes 77 deputies, investigators and jail officers.

“I have worked closely with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the TRI-NET Narcotics Task force and the SLEDNET Narcotics Task Force to combat the methamphetamine epidemic in our community, “Jackson said.

“There is no greater threat to our health, safety and welfare,” he said.

Jackson said a joint drug task force is under discussion with Sheriff Ron Pierini.

“I will vigorously prosecute those who cause harm to children or our elderly,” he said.

Jackson was born in San Jose, Calif., in 1963 and moved to Douglas County with his mother and two brothers after his father, an Air Force pilot, was killed in a plane crash in 1968.

He earned his undergraduate degree in agricultural business from Colorado State University in 1985 and his law degree in 1989 from California Western School of Law in San Diego.

He returned to Douglas County in 1991 and formed a law firm with Milos Terzich in 1992.

When Terzich retired, Jackson joined the district attorney’s office in 2001.

His cases have included the conviction of Christopher Fiegehen for the murder of Al Chorkey and the attempted murder of his wife. He also successfully prosecuted Dr. Richard Conte for the kidnaping of his ex-wife.

He also has prosecuted many methamphetamine drug traffickers and drug cartel members which has resulted in the forfeiture of their homes and vehicles.

“My No. 1 issue is the health, safety and welfare of this community,” he said. “I believe my biggest impact is to continue as public prosecutor. I also plan on being involved in civil aspects of the District Attorney’s office, providing oversight. If it came down to an issue of prosecuting at a trial or going to a county commissioner meeting, I probably would choose being in court.

“But what I would have to do is balance it out with what is the criminal case and could somebody else handle it,” he said.

If elected, Jackson said his initial focus would be as public prosecutor, but he said he has a strong background in civil law.

“When Milos and I started our law firm, I probably was doing 90 percent civil and 10 percent criminal,” Jackson said. “Over the next 10 years, it pretty much started to reverse itself.

“I have a very strong understanding of the rules of civil procedure and application. I have no qualms at all about handling civil issues,” Jackson said.

“I love this community,” he said. “I have a wonderful, beautiful and supportive wife, a 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the same quality of life I experienced as a child growing up in this community,” Jackson said.

Jackson and his wife Kathy are the parents of Tre and Talyn.

He serves on the board of directors of the Douglas County Partnership of Community Resources. In the past 15 years he has coached Pop Warner football, NFL youth flag football, AYSO soccer, youth wrestling and Little League baseball.