Andy Howorth named McLarty’s successor in Lafayette County

Published 12:30 pm Monday, December 18, 2023

In a significant development within the Lafayette County judiciary, Andy Howorth has been unanimously appointed by the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors to succeed the late Judge Johnny Wayne McLarty as Lafayette County Southern District Justice Court judge. The decision was made at their meeting on Dec 18.

Extensive Judicial Experience

Howorth, who retired in 2020, brings a wealth of experience to the role. Appointed as a Mississippi circuit judge in 2002, he was subsequently elected or re-elected five times. During his tenure, he assumed the position of Senior Circuit Judge in 2011. His career highlights include serving as Drug Court judge, where he played a pivotal role in rehabilitating convicted drug felons. Additionally, Howorth contributed his expertise on the Mississippi Judicial College Board of Governors and served as the presiding judge of the Mississippi Bar Complainants Tribunal until his retirement.

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Educational Background and Legal Career

A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Howorth earned a B.B.A. in 1984 followed by a J.D. in 1987. His legal career includes significant roles as a former partner in the law firms Howorth, O’Donnell & Walsh and Hickman, Goza & Gore. His leadership extended to serving as a Mississippi Bar commissioner and president of both the Tri-County and the Lafayette County bar associations.

Community Involvement

Howorth’s impact extends beyond the courtroom. His community service record is impressive, including past presidencies at the Oxford-Lafayette County United Way and roles as a former director at Oxford University Bank and former commissioner of the Oxford Housing Authority. He has also been an active member of the Oxford Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.

A Transition in Leadership

Johnny McLarty

This appointment comes at a poignant moment, as Judge McLarty’s son, Supervisor Chad McLarty, expressed his approval of Howorth’s selection. “This is the right choice for Lafayette County,” he said. He remarked on the unexpected nature of introducing his father’s successor at his last meeting as supervisor, expressing hope that the incoming supervisors would maintain Judge Howorth’s position until the next election.

The appointment of Andy Howorth marks a new chapter for Lafayette County’s judiciary, promising continuity and experienced leadership following the untimely loss of Judge McLarty.