FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Chapman
Phone: (904) 255-3004
Cell: (904) 524-6626
ChapmanD@coj.net

May 24, 2019

CHIEF ASSISTANT MAC HEAVENER LEAVING SAO TO RETURN TO FEDERAL PRACTICE

After more than a decade serving the people of the Fourth Circuit, Chief Assistant State Attorney Mac Heavener will return to federal practice and join the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Tennessee. His last day with the State Attorney’s Office will be July 5, 2019.

Heavener returned to the State Attorney’s Office in January 2017, joining then newly elected State Attorney Melissa Nelson in a vital leadership role in her administration. His guidance and ultimate professionalism have improved the reputation, culture, and office’s work product.

Heavener’s many achievements include revamping the office’s grand jury processes and officer-involved shooting protocols, improving the office’s discovery disclosure standards, and overseeing the creation of the Targeted Prosecution and Human Rights divisions.

“Mac has been a great chief assistant, excellent trial prosecutor, devoted teacher, and loyal friend,” said Nelson. “The people of our office and the Fourth Circuit are better for his service. We will miss him.”

Heavener previously served in the State Attorney’s Office from 2000 until 2007 before joining the Jacksonville Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. In nearly a decade there, he prosecuted some of the area’s highest-profile federal cases and supervised federal prosecutors in the Criminal Division.

Now, he will be returning to federal practice, this time in the Eastern District of Tennessee, where he will focus on white-collar crimes and other federal prosecutions.

“I will be forever grateful to State Attorney Melissa Nelson for the trust and confidence she placed in me when she asked me to return to this office in the role of chief assistant. I am also very humbled to have served in the position that many of Jacksonville’s finest lawyers once occupied,” said Heavener. “Under Melissa’s leadership and innovative reforms, this office has transformed to a recognized model and an example of how a prosecutor’s office should look and operate — every citizen in the Fourth Circuit should be extremely proud of the work of the dedicated people in this office. While it will always be home to me as a prosecutor, it is now time for me to give up the meeting room and return to the courtroom. I am looking forward to resuming federal practice, but I am only able to do so because of the great work we have accomplished in a relatively short time under Melissa’s leadership.”

Heavener serves as one of Nelson’s two chief assistants, overseeing the Homicide, Targeted Prosecution, Special Victims Unit, Special Prosecution, and Circuit Court divisions among other responsibilities. Chief Assistant L.E. Hutton will assume Heavener’s responsibilities upon his departure and the office will maintain one chief assistant through Nelson’s innovative restructuring.

Download the official release:
SAO4 Release – Heavener Leaving SAO to Join U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tennessee