Hardworking dad inspired solicitor

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Harold V. Jones II took a small token from his hero on his first day on the job in the State Solicitor's Office years ago.

Richmond County State Solicitor Harold Jones had an interest in politics early on, and that, combined with a strong work ethic instilled by his father, led him to pursue law.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Richmond County State Solicitor Harold Jones had an interest in politics early on, and that, combined with a strong work ethic instilled by his father, led him to pursue law.

The thirtysomething-year-old, black Samsonite briefcase once carried by his father, Harold Jones, christened his first days as a prosecutor.

"It was a good luck charm," he said. "It wasn't big enough to carry much in it, but it gave me that sense of pride."

Years down the road, Mr. Jones, 39, said his father's impact would also play a role in his becoming the first black state solicitor in Richmond County.

The youngest and only son of six children, Mr. Jones was born in Hawaii, and his military family moved to Augusta when he was 5.

"My father was retired military and worked in communications," he said. "He just had a tremendous work ethic. I don't think he ever took a day off."

The elder Jones expected the same discipline and hard work from his five daughters and Mr. Jones.

When not working hard, the family participated in a weekly ritual that would influence his interest in public policy and history. They would gather every Sunday for 60 Minutes, he said.

"In those days, you only had so many channels, so we would watch it religiously," Mr. Jones said. "That got me into politics."

The family also owned a copy of Four Days , which chronicled the last days of President John F. Kennedy's life. By high school, it was clear that Mr. Jones would pursue a career in political science. He won the Advanced Placement Award in European History at Glenn Hills High School. He graduated from Glenn Hills and left home to study political science at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.

As a freshman, he would learn an important lesson that would help him in law school at North Carolina Central University. A mentor scolded him after he wrote an ambitious but poorly supported paper on affirmative action.

"I drove home after that. I didn't want to come back," he said. "I realized afterward that if you're going to have an argument, make sure you have facts to back it up."

After graduating from North Carolina Central, Mr. Jones began working in private practice. In 1997, he won a position as a prosecutor in the State Solicitor's Office. The office primarily handles traffic tickets, DUI, domestic violence and shoplifting cases.

He was the first black prosecutor in the office and worked hard to increase that number. He also worked to expedite the process of arraignment to jury trial.

"That really helps the domestic violence victims when their cases are handled within 60 days rather than six to nine months," he said.

Since 2008 his office has had 36 jury trials with guilty verdicts in 29 cases.

He entered the office wanting to accomplish specific goals, one of them, advancing to state solicitor. Now that he has accomplished that goal, he hopes to accomplish others.

"I'd like to get into a position of policy," he said. "Economic development and education are important."

Being from the area has helped him as a prosecutor, and it will benefit him as he pursues other political roles, he said.

"I'm from here, so I'm connected with people I can relate to where they come from," he said. "It's important to have that connection."

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

HAROLD V. JONES II

AGE: 39

HOMETOWN: Augusta

PHILANTHROPY: NAACP member, Richmond/Burke Youth Council, Arts Council, Harold V. Jones Social Studies Award, given to Glenn Hills seniors with the highest average in social studies who plan to pursue political science

FAMILY: fiancée, parents and five sisters

OCCUPATION: State solicitor

QUOTE: "People may not like what I do, but they think they're being treated fairly. They may not like the outcome, but they can respect that."

Comments (17) Add comment
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message
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message 06/29/09 - 05:38 am
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Now we hope he become the

Now we hope he become the first colored District Attorney in Richmond County to eradicate sentences disparity in the court system and frivolous Grand Jury Indictment for petty drug offenses because D.A. Ashley Wright sucks.

prolifer
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prolifer 06/29/09 - 07:09 am
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message, I sincerely hope you

message, I sincerely hope you are joking. What f@&$ing color was he colored. You really need to leave it alone. Keep your hateful, racist comments to yourself. Bad things have happened for comments less than that. It's really sad and I hope you are not in the business of teaching children.

Danielle
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Danielle 06/29/09 - 07:14 am
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Wonderful article.

Wonderful article. Spotlighting the positive should be the way of the future.

deeo1055@yahoo.com
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deeo1055@yahoo.com 06/29/09 - 07:27 am
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Excellant man, great family

Excellant man, great family

charlesd
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charlesd 06/29/09 - 07:37 am
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A helluva nice

A helluva nice guy.......period..several notches above a DA..Let's go for something big !! you will make it !

Tots
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Tots 06/29/09 - 08:38 am
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Way to go Mr Jones.

Way to go Mr Jones.

KingJames
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KingJames 06/29/09 - 09:07 am
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Glad to see good people from

Glad to see good people from Glenn Hills doing good things in Augusta!

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 06/29/09 - 09:45 am
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His father is a member of my

His father is a member of my church. Good man and this article truthfully points out some of his good points. His mother is president of their neighborhood association and a member of the Toastmasters' club, definitely a lovely, elegant lady and an asset to our community. The apple didn't fall from the tree; we are blessed to have a solicitor like him. This is an admirable family that I respect. I am also glad to see a graduate of Glenn Hills doing good things for Augusta. There are more, I know, but not all quite as visible, since not all are public figures.

EARL84
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EARL84 06/29/09 - 12:12 pm
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Great story. How unfortunate

Great story. How unfortunate it is that most young men don't idolize people like Mr. Jones or even Barack Obama and instead embrace the lives of Young Jeezy or T.I. as role models. Amazing what happens when there are TWO parents around!

storiesihaveread
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storiesihaveread 06/29/09 - 02:25 pm
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I agree with Baroness and

I agree with Baroness and EARL84

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 06/29/09 - 05:52 pm
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Going to South Carolina State

Going to South Carolina State in Orangeburg when you live in Augusta is NOT leaving home. It is staying home.

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 06/29/09 - 05:57 pm
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If Chris Brown and Kelly

If Chris Brown and Kelly Bensimon were both in Harold Jones's court instead of courts in LA and NYC, both of them would get jail terms instead of slaps on the wrist.

get.the.beam.out
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get.the.beam.out 06/30/09 - 06:56 am
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Let's not forget who

Let's not forget who prosecuted Linden Hayward.

GSneed
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GSneed 06/30/09 - 08:22 am
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Great article, Harold! You

Great article, Harold! You make us Glenn Hills Alumni very proud.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 11/19/09 - 07:29 pm
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Great guy, hope he wins ed

Great guy, hope he wins ed tarver's seat!!

LCC0256
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LCC0256 11/27/09 - 08:05 pm
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i would be glad to read a

i would be glad to read a story without race always being mentioned. "working to get more blacks here.. there...blah blah blah...so long as everyone keeps mentioning race ...race will continue to be an issue for those who are susceptible to being led around by their nose. (you know like the mental midgets who believe what they read in the rag tabloid NY Times & what they see on NBC CBS ABC & CNN) This article could have left this man's race out of it & just told the story of his many successes and his parents many successes..ALL WHO THINK LIKE ME could care less about the depth of skin pigmentation. it is such a STUPID physical characteristic to dwell on or be concerned about...but then i look around at my fellow American & many times feel as if i am surrounded by a confederacy of dunces....

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 02/15/11 - 09:20 pm
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My how things have changed.

My how things have changed. Was that only 2 years ago?

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