Sandy Cruickshanks: A Retrospective on 30 Years as Laurens County Attorney

December 20, 2023

Laurens County bids farewell to a legal luminary as Sandy Cruickshanks, the seasoned County Attorney, is set to embark on his well-deserved retirement after an impressive 30-year tenure. Cruickshanks, who celebrated his 50th year as an attorney in October 2023, leaves a legacy marked by dedication, wisdom, and a profound commitment to the people of Laurens County.

In the early months of 1993, Cruickshanks assumed the role of County Attorney after the position became available. This marked the beginning of a lengthy and impactful career, during which he navigated the intricacies of local government law and tirelessly represented the interests of Laurens County.

In reflecting on the unique challenges of his role as County Attorney, Cruickshanks emphasized the complexity of the position. While ostensibly representing the County Council, his responsibilities extended to overseeing the implementation of policies, projects, and programs across various departments. He pointed out that the focus often rests on the Council, but the reality lies in the collaborative efforts of numerous departments and hundreds of county employees.

One of the most rewarding aspects of his role, Cruickshanks shared, was witnessing the transformation of Council-initiated concepts into tangible realities. From conception to completion, he observed the intricate workings of county departments, showcasing the multifaceted nature of local governance.

However, the journey was not without its challenges. Cruickshanks noted that the difficulties were not singular but comprised a continuous series of smaller challenges, each with the potential to impact the lives of Laurens County citizens. His approach was to understand each issue thoroughly and find legal solutions that best served the interests of the community within the bounds of the law.

Recalling fond memories, Cruickshanks highlighted the privilege of working closely with the county’s employees and Council members. Beyond professional relationships, he cherished the opportunity to connect with individuals on a personal level, sharing in their successes and providing support during challenging times.

Over the years, Cruickshanks witnessed significant changes in the role of County Attorney, mirroring the evolving responsibilities of local government. As the functions expanded and the challenges grew, so did the rewarding nature of the work. Despite occasional battles, he became more attuned to the needs and reactions of the county’s citizens.

As Cruickshanks steps into retirement, he looks forward to a consulting role for the next six months, aiding his successor, when hired, in a smooth transition. Private consulting and continued involvement in economic development will fill his schedule, alongside maintaining a limited private practice in Clinton. Most importantly, he expressed excitement about attending every event for his nine grandchildren, relishing the role of “Grandad.”

Sandy Cruickshanks with family at December County Council meeting.

In his parting words to the County Council, Cruickshanks encouraged them to take pride in their service, not just as representatives but as individuals who made a tangible difference in the lives of Laurens County residents. He humbly acknowledged the significant role played by every employee and Council member, emphasizing their collective contributions as the true stars of Laurens County.

In his own words, Sandy Cruickshanks expressed his gratitude and sentiment about his tenure, saying, “These 30 years have been more than a profession; they have been a journey of growth, challenges, and shared accomplishments. Serving the people of Laurens County has been an honor beyond words, and I leave with a heart full of gratitude.”

Brown Patterson, Chairman of the County Council, spoke on behalf of the Council, expressing deep appreciation for Cruickshanks’ dedicated service. “Sandy Cruickshanks has been a guiding legal force behind Laurens County for three decades. His commitment, wisdom, and unwavering dedication have helped to shape the landscape of our community. On behalf of the County Council, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for his exemplary service. His legacy will continue to inspire us as we move forward in serving the people of Laurens County.”

As Sandy Cruickshanks takes a well-earned bow from the stage of Laurens County’s legal landscape, his three decades of service stand as a testament to his unwavering dedication and the indelible mark he leaves on the community he has served so faithfully.

Click on the images in the photo gallery to see Cruickshanks with some of the County Council teams he has worked with.