- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

CHALMETTE, La. (AP) - Jack Rowley, the only district attorney St. Bernard Parish has had since its judicial system was separated from that of neighboring Plaquemines Parish, has died.

Rowley, 83, did not run for re-election. Rowley had been having serious heart problems and died Wednesday, the day after his successor was elected, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Diaz confirmed Thursday.

Diaz referred questions about funeral arrangements to Rowley’s son, dentist Jack Rowley, known as Jay. Jay Rowley was not immediately available for comment.

Jack Rowley took office in 1979. He had been sheriff for 17 years before that. His only election loss was a 1960 runoff in his first race for sheriff. He lost to the incumbent, Nicholas Trist.

Louisiana District Attorneys Association executive director E. Pete Adams described Rowley earlier this year as the longest-serving district attorney in the state, NOLA.com ‘ The Times-Picayune (https://bit.ly/10rsLcO) reported.

Diaz told the newspaper that Rowley had been out of the office for several months. Until Perry Nicosia is sworn in, he said, “We have worked together for 35 years and we know what we have to do and how to do it.”

Diaz, who lost the district attorney’s race Tuesday to Nicosia, said Rowley “was such a living legend and such a great person, kind, gentle, smart as can be, so dedicated to the parish.”

Rowley never left the courthouse during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Diaz said. “He stood there throughout all flood waters. What a guy.”

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