Matt Chandler will resign as 9th Judicial District attorney effective March 1, he said Monday night.
“After several months of prayer and consideration,” he said, “I made the decision to pursue new endeavors in the private sector.”
Chandler, 38, has held the district attorney position for Curry and Roosevelt counties since his election in 2004. He said he intends to open a private law practice in Clovis with a specialization in civil litigation.
“This move will create new challenges for me, and I’m excited for that,” he said.
Chandler said the March 1 date will give him the opportunity to assist district attorneys across the state in pushing their budgets through during the legislative session, and also finish up cases he’s been working on over the past year, he said.
“My goal is to develop a smooth transition for my successor,” he said, “and do all within my ability to ensure the office continues to serve the citizens, victims and law enforcement officers in Curry and Roosevelt counties in the highest regard.”
Chandler said his resignation will not impact his recent appointment as special prosecutor in the Roswell school shooting case.
Roswell District Attorney Janetta Hicks asked Chandler to prosecute the case because of multiple conflicts of interest in her office.
“Juvenile cases move forward much faster than cases in adult court,” he said, “but if it lingers past March 1, I’ll continue to work on that particular case and finish it for the 5th Judicial District.”
Gov. Susana Martinez will be tasked with selecting a replacement for Chandler between now and March 1.
Chandler said he hopes his successor will be someone on his current staff.
Chandler was sworn in as 9th Judicial District Attorney in 2004 after defeating his former boss and incumbent Brett Carter.
The Clovis native and Eastern New Mexico University graduate ran an unsuccessful campaign for state attorney general in 2010.
When asked if he plans to run a second time for attorney general, Chandler said, “At this time, my focus is going to be on the transition of the district attorney’s office, as well as opening my private practice in Clovis.”