HUNTSVILLE (WATE) - After more than three decades of service, a very well known and respected district attorney general is retiring.
District Attorney General Paul Phillips, of the 8th Judicial District, will step down August 31 after more than 33 years in office.
A retirement celebration was held for DA Phillips Thursday night at White Rock Baptist Church in Huntsville.
Those who worked with him say Phillips had a huge impact on the five counties he covered.
"I think his legacy will be that he helped the children of these counties," said his friend, Charles Herman. "He's been responsible for (the) children's center in Campbell County, and I think he's taken a great interest in helping prosecute cases for sexual and child abuse."
Phillips has prosecuted many high profile cases involving children, including the case of baby Haley Spicer in Campbell County in 2004.
"It's been to place a greater emphasis on protecting children," Phillips said. "We started child support enforcement. We started the child advocacy center, and we tried to do a much better job combating child abuse."
Replacing Phillips is his niece, Lori Phillips-Jones. She will take office on September 1.
"I tried to write down every piece of advice he's given me so far so I can carry on his legacy of truth and honesty for our office," Phillips-Jones said.
"It's a day of celebration because the citizens have let me serve in this role for more than 33 years," said Phillips. "I appreciate that deeply."
Phillips has already taken a new position at Roane State Community College. He is one of the new directors of the Roane State Foundation.
Phillips was the youngest district attorney ever when he received the position at the age of 33.