Longtime former News Herald editor and columnist Mike “Caz” Cazalas has joined the State Attorney’s Office as its public information officer.
Larry Basford, State Attorney for the 14th Judicial Circuit, said Cazalas is filling a blend of two positions to both prepare and disseminate information to the media and to interact with the community while raising awareness of the office’s involvement with the people it serves across the circuit.
“I’ve always held a fascination with the law and court proceedings, going back to my early days as a police and courts reporter,” Cazalas said. “To have a chance to work on this side of the process, with people I’ve written about or known professionally for decades, is a dream fulfilled. My hope is to help people understand not just what the office does, but for them to get to know more about the people behind those actions and how they affect the community.”
Cazalas will continue his participation, on behalf of the SAO, in signature events like serving as a judge for the Bay District Schools’ Teacher of the Year award and helping lead the annual Empty Stocking Fund campaign to benefit the Salvation Army, where he serves as a board member. The campaign has raised more than $4 million over the years for area families in need of assistance.
Cazalas joined The News Herald in 1983, working his way into management before taking a job at the Macon Telegraph in 1999. He returned to Bay County, and the paper, in 2001 and served in various positions ranging from editor and a regional editor to the director of engagement for the region.
Cazalas, whose 18-year-old son is a senior at Bay High, joined the State Attorney’s Office Oct. 4.