George and Ira Gershwin wrote/composed, “I’ve got rhythm. I’ve got music. I’ve got my girl. Who would ask for anything more?”
When you look around his office and hear what he has to say, you get evidence that Cherokee County’s Assistant Solicitor Todd Hayes has all of that — plus even more.
One of the things you might notice first in his office is his “Mirror Ball Trophy.” He and his partner, professional dancer Lydia Carlile, were winners of the Service League of Cherokee County’s Dancing for the Children competition earlier this year.
Now what kind of dance would you expect a lawyer to do? It was the jive. Reminiscent of Kevin Bacon in “Footloose,” he got footloose and brought down the house.
He had not spent much time on a dance floor, but he had played his clarinet or bass clarinet with a marching band. He knew the importance of staying in step, teamwork and practice.
Service League Member Rachel Ashe works with him. She must have known he has rhythm when she sent him an email asking him to be one of the contestants. That was the beginning of a dancing star being born.
Without a doubt, Todd’s wife, Sara, has rhythm, too.
She graduated from Shorter College with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a minor in voice.
Among her accomplishments is playing the starring role of Maria in the First Baptist Church of Atlanta’s production of “The Sound of Music.” She has been the worship pianist and has toured with the church’s orchestra. Todd sings with the choir and the praise team.
The Hayes family includes five children ranging from 10 months to 11 years.
Clark plays piano. Alex plays baseball while Ella dances and plays violin. Walker plays T-ball. At 10 months old, Olivia smiles and looks cute. Their dad says his exercise is primarily chasing children.
Describing his wife, Todd said, “Sara has the touch of Midas. She makes everything she touches better.” She must be a modern day Wonder Woman, too, since she also operates Studio 88, where she teaches piano lessons.
Although Cherokee’s Chief Assistant Solicitor General was a dancing star for one night, he definitely kept his day job.
A native of nearby Marietta, he decided when he was 16 that he wanted to study law.
His decision was influenced by hearing Pat Robertson discussing the Supreme Court Decision on Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches School District. The decision was related to the First Amendment and the use of school property by a church.
After enrolling at the University of Georgia, he earned three degrees. His undergraduate degree was in history. Unlike many college students, he declared his major and never changed it. Then he got a master’s degree and his law degree.
He always knew that he was not cut out to be a defense attorney. He was, “…not built that way.”
He explained that being a prosecutor has its own special rules. You are a minister of justice and are seeking the truth.
In his current position, many of his duties are in management. Working under Cherokee’s able Solicitor Jessica Moss, he oversees those attorneys and investigators who work in the solicitor’s office.
Some cases touch his heart. Those include second degree homicides. A death has occurred due to the dangerous conduct of another. There was no intent or premeditation.
An example he gives is when someone has been killed when a driver fails to maintain their lane. Drugs or alcohol are not involved.
A participant in community affairs, Todd Hayes had been recognized as a leader. He was named one of Cherokee County’s Rising Stars by the Chamber of Commerce.
He was selected to Leadership Cherokee. A member of both Canton Rotary Club and Optimist Club, he has been the keynote speaker for Canton Moose Club’s awards dinner for community service.
“Of the Year” is a term used frequently in honoring Todd Hayes. He was named Cobb County’s Prosecutor of the Year, State Associate General Prosecutor of the Year and both MADD and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety have both honored him.
So, with a wife, five children, community involvement and a challenging career, he is definitely not footloose and fancy free. He has responsibilities that might stymie most of us.
Explaining justice tempered with mercy, he takes out a Bible given to him by Dr. Nelson Price, now pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta. He keeps it in a drawer of his desk. It contains the laws he lives by.
Todd Hayes has rhythm, music and his girl. Added to that, he has children, love, respect, a wonderful career and his faith. As the Gershwin brothers asked, “Who can ask for anything more?”
Marguerite Cline is former mayor of Waleska.
Citation Tribune Ledger News – July 27 2017