HOUSTON (AP) — Houston's top prosecutor, Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson, has died after battling cancer, officials said Saturday. He was 57.
Belinda Hill, the district attorney's office first assistant, said Anderson's death was "a terrible loss ... of a devoted public servant, husband and father."
"His sense of justice, his wisdom and support, his easy laugh, and, most of all, his friendship were his gifts to us," Hill said in a statement.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett was informed Anderson died on Friday evening, said Joe Stinebaker, Emmett's spokesman.
No information was immediately available about a cause of death, but Anderson had revealed in mid-May he was being treated for an undisclosed type of cancer. He had only taken office in January.
"My prayers are with the family of Mike Anderson today. He was a well-respected public servant. His death is a loss to Harris County," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement.
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said in a statement he was grateful for Anderson's "years of integrity-driven and dedicated public service, and he and his leadership will be missed."
In a tweet sent out Saturday, the Texas District and County Attorneys Association said, "Our prayers are with his wife & kids & the entire Harris Co DA family."
Stinebaker said Gov. Rick Perry would appoint a replacement for Anderson.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office, which has about 240 attorneys, is the largest office of its kind in Texas. Harris County has been noted as sending more inmates to the lethal-injection gurney than any other county in the nation.
Anderson, a Republican, had a long career in law enforcement. He spent 17 years as a prosecutor in Harris County, handling everything from misdemeanors to 11 capital murder cases that he either investigated or prosecuted. Anderson also served 12 years as an elected state district judge.
Anderson was born and raised in the Houston suburb of Pasadena. He earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston.
He was married to Devon Anderson, a defense attorney and former prosecutor and district judge. The couple has two children.