Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Georgia judges being dismissed

The Atlanta newspaper reports:
One sent a message over Facebook to a criminal defendant, saying he’d give her behind-the-scenes advice on her case. Another was caught having sex in a parked car with the public defender assigned to his courtroom. Another inappropriately touched a prosecutor and investigator after they sat in his lap posing for a photo.

These were not defendants. All three were chief judges in their circuits with decades on the bench.

Since 2008, at least 16 judges across the state have resigned under duress, most recently two veteran chief judges from Cobb and Fulton counties. Some stepped down under a cloud of suspicion. Others left amid scandal or even outright criminality.

Allegations include sexual improprieties, harassment, voter fraud, giving state computers to family members and gross intemperance on the bench.
I doubt that there is really a rash of bad behavior among Georgia judges. It is more likely that the state just started taking complaints seriously.

Here is another Georgia judge in the news:
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A Superior Court judge shot and killed a masked burglar inside his Augusta home early Friday after being awakened by the sound of someone smashing through a door.

Richmond County Sheriff Ronald Strength said investigators were still searching for a second burglary suspect Friday after the break-in at the home of Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet.

Overstreet, 65, was awakened at about 4 a.m. Friday when burglars used a large rock to break glass panes in a French door at the judge's home, the sheriff said.
He said the judge grabbed his gun after hearing voices and left his bedroom to investigate.

"The suspect, wearing a bandanna over his face and socks covering both hands, was coming down the stairs toward Overstreet," Strength told reporters Friday. "Overstreet fired one time at the suspect, hitting him in the chest."

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