Fulton County

Fani Willis says she’s ready to take on role as Fulton County District Attorney

After a landslide victory, Fulton County will have a new district attorney for the first time in more than 20 years.

Former Assistant District Attorney Fani Willis beat her former boss Paul Howard in a landslide victory in Tuesday’s runoff election, getting more than 70% of the vote.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston spoke with Willis on Wednesday, who said she can’t wait to get to work for the people of Fulton County.

“It is historic. I’m the first woman DA, but what is better for these tax payers who they elected is, I’ve been in the trenches,” Willis said.

She told Huddleston that she’s tried more than 100 cases and supervised more than 100 attorneys on how to prepare for court.

Willis said growing up, she wanted to be a lawyer just like her father.


“His message to me, even before I could talk well is, ‘every human being, even a baby is entitled to some dignity.’ I believe that in my core,” Willis said.

That's why Willis said she plans to offer first-time offenders a chance to straighten up.

“We’ll make you do community service to the city you hurt,” Willis said.

First-time offenders could work with churches and businesses, maybe even learn a skill like carpentry, that can turn a life around.

“I just think we can save people, and at the same time, I don’t want any of your listeners to be confused. I am a prosecutor at my heart and my soul,” Willis said.

So don't think she's a push over. Willis said if she charges you with a crime, you're going to jail.

“People take kindness for weakness, and I’m very kind, but I’m not weak,” Willis said.

Willis, the mother of two daughters, will take control of the Fulton County DA’s office in January.

She will take over for Howard, who has been DA since 1997. He oversaw some of the county’s biggest cases: the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, the Tex McIver murder trial and the double murder case involving former NFL football star Ray Lewis.