Danny's career with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's office began in September 1981, immediately upon graduation from the University of Georgia School of Law. He served as a Trial Assistant for three years and was then promoted to Senior Assistant District Attorney. Subsequently, he was assigned as head of the Trial Division of the D.A. office supervising trial attorneys. Danny also assumed the additional duties of the Drug Prosecutor and began the organization of a special drug prosecution unit. Danny was elected District Attorney of Gwinnett County in November 1992.
Chief Assistant District Attorney: Dan W. Mayfield
Dan obtained a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice in 1978 and worked as a DeKalb County police officer from 1979 through 1982. In 1985, he graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and immediately became an Assistant District Attorney in Gwinnett County. During his tenure, he has tried a wide variety of felony jury trials including high profile homicides and large scale Mexican drug cartel cases. As the Chief Assistant District Attorney, he reports directly to the District Attorney Danny Porter and is responsible for the day to day operations of the District Attorney's Office.
Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney: Lisa Jones
Lisa Jones is a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1993 with her Juris Doctorate. Lisa is a career prosecutor and began her legal career in Georgia in 1994 as an Assistant Solicitor-General in the DeKalb County Solicitor-General's Office. In 1997, she went to work for the Hall and Dawson County District Attorney's Office where she served in various supervisory capacities, including the Chief Assistant District Attorney, until 2002 when she came to the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office.
She has supervised several courtrooms of various Gwinnett Superior Court Judges and helped to establish both the Hall County and Gwinnett County Drug Courts during her tenure as a prosecutor. She is a frequent instructor to other prosecutors for the Prosecuting Attorney's Council and also to officers attending the Gwinnett Police Academy. Lisa has tried well over 100 jury trials including extensive work in death penalty litigation. She currently supervises the trial divisions prosecuting all criminal cases assigned to Superior Court Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner as well as Superior Court Judges Randolph G. Rich and Ronnie K. Batchelor. Lisa also supervises all criminal cases assigned to Juvenile Court judges Robert Rodatus, Stephen Franzen, and Robert Waller.
Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney: Rich Vandever
Rich is a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office. Rich graduated from the University of West Georgia in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and from Mercer University School of Law in 1997 with his Juris Doctorate. Soon after graduating law school Rich embarked on his career as a prosecutor serving the Griffin Judicial Circuit as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1999, Rich went to work for the District Attorney's Office for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit where he served in various supervisory capacities. In 2006, Rich came to the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office.
Rich has served as an instructor to other prosecutors for the Prosecuting Attorney's Council and the National Advocacy Center. Rich also instructs law enforcement officers at the Gwinnett Police Academy. Rich currently supervises the trial teams prosecuting all criminal cases assigned to the Honorable Tom Davis, Honorable Warren Davis, Honorable R. Timothy Hamil, and Honorable Karen E. Beyers.
Chief Investigator: Jeff Smith
Jeff began his career with the University of Georgia Police Department in 1985 and moved to the Gwinnett Police Department in 1987. He has been with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office since 2001.
Jeff has a background in the investigation of crimes against persons, specializing in Crimes against Children and Homicide/Assault cases.
Jeff holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University, a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University, a POST Executive Certificate, a POST Management Certificate and an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate. He is also a graduate of the 259th Session of the FBI National Academy, Georgia Law Enforcement Command College and the Chief Executive Training Class. Jeff is an active member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Gwinnett County Chief's Association.
Jeff was promoted to Supervising Investigator in 2007 and has been the Chief Investigator since 2009.
Assistant Chief Investigator: Mike Pearson
Mike began his law enforcement career in 1988 in the United States Army, Military Police Corps. In 1992, Mike served as a Police Officer in Toccoa, Georgia while attending evening and weekend classes at Brenau University in Gainesville, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. After obtaining his degree, Mike became a Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in 1995 and remained in that capacity until he accepted a position as an Investigator with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office in 2005. During his eight years of service with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office, he has investigated an array of cases and was promoted to Supervising Investigator in 2012. In 2013, Mike was promoted to the position of Assistant Chief Investigator wherein he handles various administrative duties and is chiefly responsible for leading the investigations of political corruption cases and various other crimes. Mike is an active member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.
Victim Witness Program Director: Candice L. Pitman
Victim Witness Program Director Candice “Candy” L. Pitman began her career with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office Victim Witness Program as a high school intern in September 1998. Candy was offered a full-time position with the office in April 2000. During her time with the office, Mrs. Pitman continued her collegiate education and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Arts (major in Political Science).
In 2005, Candy was promoted as the first Victim Witness Program Supervisor. She was then promoted to the position of Victim Witness Program Director in January 2012. In May 2012, she received her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Brenau University.
Office Manager and Executive Assistant to the District Attorney: Stacey Sonnenschein
Stacey serves as the Office Manager and the Executive Assistant to the District Attorney. Stacey became employed with Gwinnett County in 1995, beginning in the Solicitor's Office and transferring to the District Attorney's Office in 1997.
Stacey began her career as a Legal Assistant and was promoted to her current position in 2008. She attended the National Center of Paralegal Training and received a Certificate in Paralegal Studies in 1991. Stacey has attended the L.E.A.D Academy and received a Certificate in Local Government Management from the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Legal Secretary Supervisor: Susan Gardner
Susan has been employed with the Gwinnett District Attorney's office since 1995. She has a Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Before coming to the DA's office, Susan was employed with the law firm of Thompson, O'Brien, Kemp and Nasuti, P.C., fka Boyce, Thompson and O'Brien, P.C. for approximately 12 years. Since she has been with the District Attorney's Office, she has worked in the indictments section and has been a trial secretary in four different trial divisions.