Tom Lawler, Gwinnett County Clerk of Court dies

Gwinnett County Clerk of Court Thomas C. Lawler III passed away Wednesday after a years-long battle with prostate cancer. He was 63.

Lawler, who had served in that position since 1997, also served two terms as District Attorney from 1984 to 1992. Prior to that, he was police officer, rising to the level of drug unit commander, and then a solicitor in Juvenile Court.

All totaled, he served the citizens of Gwinnett County for more than 30 years.

"Tom was one of my best friends," said Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter. "It's a tremendous loss for a lot of reasons."

Porter said Lawler planned to retire when his term ended in 2012. He had been out sick from work for about a month, and had been in the hospital for about a week. Chief Deputy Clerk of Court Richard Alexander will fulfill Lawler's role until a replacement is appointed or elected.