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Former Fresno County D.A. Ed Hunt has died

Monday, April 23, 2012
FILE: Former Fresno County District Attorney Ed Hunt
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Former Fresno County District Attorney Ed Hunt is being remembered for his passion for justice and the people he served. 69-year-old Hunt died Sunday after suffering cardiac arrest April 13.

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From the very beginning of his journey as D.A., Hunt made his intent clear. When an Action News reporter asked him on election night what kind of changes people could expect, Hunt replied, "Just a change in attitude in doing the job and to encourage the criminal element to move elsewhere to apply their trade."

Hunt served as Fresno County District Attorney for 20 years, beginning in 1982. Hunt was known for his tough persona but those who once worked under him say he was much more. They described him as a compassionate man who shaped many careers. "He hired and supported prosecutors that were recognized statewide for their work. He was in the background& but he was there. We were lucky and we'll carry in this office with that same spirit," said Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Don Penner was appointed Chief Assistant D.A. shortly after Hunt was elected. "I guess it is human nature not to think so much about the opportunities you've had until something like this happens. And I think he'll be remembered as a great leader and an individual that was just a great guy to work for," said Penner.

Before his days as D.A., Hunt served as a prosecutor and worked tirelessly to crack down on narcotics. Former bureau chief Pete Chavez was recruited by Hunt and left the sheriff's office to work as an investigator. "In my opinion, Ed was a police officer at heart. He just went to law school and became the district attorney. But I think he had a special affinity for his investigators," said Chavez.

But like all of us, Hunt wasn't perfect. He struggled with alcoholism and was arrested twice for D.U.I. Eventually, he found peace, flying high above the valley. But his legacy will always be centered around the law.

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