ATLANTA — In her courtroom in Brunswick, Ga., Judge Amanda F. Williams told lawyers to “sit down and shut up.” She once jailed a defendant for using the words “baby momma.” And she detained offenders “indefinitely” without access to lawyers, state judicial investigators say.She probably thought that she was doing a good job for 20 years, because no one ever reprimanded her. Judges are good at rationalizing what they do. But family court judges like Irwin Joseph and Heather Morse would be run out of town if there were more public scrutiny over what they do. Well, there is a public record on what they have done, and it will follow them forever.
But on Monday, Judge Williams, the chief judge of the Superior Court of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit — a powerful, controversial figure who gained national exposure when the public radio program “This American Life” devoted an hourlong episode to her — announced that she was leaving the bench after 21 years.
Judge Williams, 64, who said she would resign on Jan. 2., faced wide-ranging misconduct accusations. She vowed not to seek another judgeship, and, as a result, those complaints will be dropped, the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission said. She could still face criminal charges related to her conduct.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Petty tyrant judge gets booted
Sometimes public scrutiny can finally get the better of a judge. The NY Times reports: