The following was released from Chris Cohilas:
Chris Cohilas, a law partner at Watson Spence and former Chief Assistant District Attorney for Dougherty County, announced today that he will run for chair of the Dougherty County Commission.
Cohilas brings to the table his years of experience as a public servant for Dougherty County, his efforts to strengthen the community through extensive nonprofit and volunteer work, and the knowledge gained through his work in complex litigation and representing businesses and individuals in the Southwest Georgia region.
"As a prosecutor, I was able to utilize my position to protect and serve the businesses and citizens of the County by making sure that our community was safe. Now in private practice at Watson Spence, I am able to represent the citizens and businesses of Dougherty directly and as such, I have a unique perspective of what their needs are and how government should serve them", Cohilas said. "In order for Dougherty County to reach its potential and thrive, we must focus on creating an environment that welcomes new residents and new businesses to our community while providing the opportunities for our citizens and local businesses to prosper. As chairman of the Dougherty County Commission, I will make it my priority to encourage and develop business growth in Dougherty County".
Cohilas currently serves as the Vice-Chairperson and Trustee for the Darton College Foundation, is an active member of the Albany Rotary Club, and the Artesian City Sertoma Club. He is the former President and Chairperson for Sertoma; past co-chairperson for the King Day Celebration Committee, and a founding member of the Lily Pad Sexual Assault Center. In his capacity as a member and officer for Sertoma, Chris was instrumental in helping raise countless dollars for the Lily Pad. The Lily Pad has always been close to Chris's heart because during his time as prosecutor, he was responsible for prosecuting violent and sexually based crimes against women and children. His work at the District Attorney's Office in this regard brought the previously languishing conviction rate of rapists and child molesters to nearly 100%.
In 2007, he was named one of Southwest Georgia's 40 under 40, and, in 2006, he was recognized by the State Bar of Georgia when he was given the Young Lawyers Ethics and Professionalism Award.
Chris, along with his wife Karen, is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Georgia and served as a program chair for the organization in 2009. Not surprisingly, in January 2013, Chris was awarded the Martin Luther King Day "Dream Award" for his selfless service to the community both in his capacity as a public servant and as a private citizen.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Georgia State University College of Law. He and his wife, Karen, live in Albany with their three children, Christopher Jr., 6; Nicholas, 3; and Michael, 1.