Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Chancellor Franklin McKenzie to retire June 30

June 22, 2020

Chancellor Franklin C. McKenzie Jr. of Laurel will retire June 30 from the 19th Chancery Court.

“It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve this great State as Chancellor of Jones and Wayne Coun-ties for over 25 years,” Judge McKenzie wrote in a June 17 letter to Gov. Tate Reeves.

The Governor will make an appointment to the vacancy. The 19th Chancery is a single judge district.

Judge McKenzie was first elected to the 19th Chancery bench in November 1994 and took office in January 1995. He was reelected six times without opposition.

“It’s time for somebody else to take the bench,” Judge McKenzie, 73, said last week.

He said that he plans to become a senior status judge, hearing cases by appointment of the Supreme Court. A senior status judge is appointed when a local judge recuses due to a conflict.

Judge McKenzie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1972. He practiced law in Laurel for 22 years before he was elected to the bench. He served as Laurel city at-torney for 22 years, and was corporate counsel for South Central Regional Medical Center for 11 years. He served in the Mississippi Army National Guard for 10 years, 1968 to 1978.