NEW ORLEANS — On Friday morning, Clerk of Criminal District Court Arthur A. Morrell announced that he will not seek re-election for a sixth term. He said after much thought and consideration, he had decided to retire.
Morrell is one of Orleans Parish’s longest-serving elected officials. He said his retirement will go into effect on May 2, 2022, giving him a little less than a year left in office.
A native of New Orleans Morrell grew up in the French Quarter and the 7th Ward. Morrell was 10 years old, he started his first job – delivering sandwiches on his bicycle for Thompson’s Sweet Shop in the evenings after school.
During junior high and high school, Morrell delivered newspapers for the States-Item and the Times-Picayune. Morrell was editor-in-chief of G.W. Carver High School’s first yearbook and was also a member of the baseball and tennis teams.
Morrell volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1963 and was a member of the 3rd and 10th Special Forces group.
Morrell attended Southern University at New Orleans under the G.I. bill and become a life-long supporter of the institution. While at SUNO and after graduating, Morrell worked for Eastern Airlines until he was accepted into Southern University Law School in Baton Rouge. He earned his J.D. degree in 1978 and began practicing law in 1982 after selling his construction company.
In 1984 Morrell was elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives District 97 where he was re-elected six times with 80% of the votes every election. Morrell was a no-nonsense lawmaker who was always a fighter for education, labor, the poor, children and civil rights. He served as chair or co-chair of several committees and also lead the Louisiana Legislature’s Black Caucus for four years.
After 23 years of service as a Louisiana Legislator, Morrell was elected Clerk of Criminal District Court in 2006. He has been re-elected four times and was unopposed in his last election in 2017. Morrell has served the public with integrity and accountability for 37 years.
Morrell has been married for more than 50 years to former City Council member Cynthia Hedge Morrell. They have four sons – Todd, Matthew, Jean-Paul and Nicholas – as well as six granddaughters, four grandsons, two great-granddaughters and one great grandson.