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May 22

May 22, 2012 --

Lax enforcement in personal care homes ACLU alleges right violations at several state detention centers Governor’s appointee quits over state lease Public money finds back do0r to private schools Conservative groups challenge House speaker on ethics Chattahoochee makes ‘most endangered’ list Common Cause cites cost hikes, political donations from airport vendors Report: Gwinnett animal shelter euthanized […]

Fulton judge defends release of trooper shooting suspect

Fulton judge defends release of trooper shooting suspect
January 3, 2011 --

A Fulton County judge had no choice last month but to release the man who allegedly shot and killed State Trooper Chadwick LeCroy a couple weeks later, the county’s chief judge said tonight. Gregory Favors was freed on a signature bond not because of “judicial whim or an adherence to some arbitrary self-imposed rule,” but because judges “have a duty to uphold the rule of law,” Judge Cynthia D. Wright wrote in a letter to Fulton County citizens.

Speaker’s appointment assures quorum for Oxendine ethics case

Speaker's appointment assures quorum for Oxendine ethics case
June 30, 2010 --

House Speaker David Ralston today named Brunswick attorney Hillary S. Stringfellow to fill a 5-month-old vacancy on the State Ethics Commission, just in time for a hearing on charges against Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. Attorneys’ challenge to the impartiality of two members could have left the ethics panel one member short of a quorum to hear the Oxendine matter.

Gwinnett judge must assess ‘systemic breakdown’ in defender system

Gwinnett judge must assess 'systemic breakdown' in defender system
June 28, 2010 --

A Gwinnett County judge must decide whether “an actual breakdown in the entire public defender system” has denied an accused murderer a speedy trial, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled today. District Attorney Danny Porter indicted Khanh Dinh Phan in 2005, but the state has never paid lawyers hired to represent him in the killing of a Lilburn man and his 2-year-old son.

Middle Ga. judge faces suspension for alleged retaliation against witnesses

April 23, 2010 --

A middle Georgia judge retaliated against two witnesses who testified in January about his courtroom conduct, state investigators say. Those actions may cost Twiggs Probate Judge Kenneth Fowler his paycheck.

Fulton judge rejects Dems’ challenge to voter ID law

Fulton judge rejects Dems' challenge to voter ID law
April 20, 2010 --

A Fulton County judge has dismissed an effort by Georgia Democrats to upend a 2006 law requiring voters to produce a photo ID before they cast a ballot. Democrats contended the law was an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote. ‘Tain’t so, says Fulton County Superior Court Judge Tom Campbell.

Negligence claim vs. deputies revived in courthouse shootings

Negligence claim vs. deputies revived in courthouse shootings
March 18, 2010 --

Survivors of the 2005 Fulton County Courthouse shootings have made a sufficiently strong case to revive their lawsuit alleging negligence by security officers, the Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled. Court workers contend sheriff’s deputies did little or nothing to step up security around inmate Brian Nichols and compromised courthouse safety by misusing sick leave and leaving their posts for a breakfast run.

Blitch, ex-Clinch County judge, fined $100K after fraud plea

Blitch, ex-Clinch County judge, fined $100K after fraud plea
December 2, 2009 --

Former Superior Court Judge Brooks E. Blitch III of Clinch County was sentenced Tuesday to three years’ probation and fined $100,000 after pleading guilty to fraud in federal court in Macon. Blitch’s crime was punishable by up to 20 years in prison but he avoided prison time under the plea agreement. Prosecutors dropped the remaining […]

High court: DeKalb voters must approve arts center bonds (Sembler, too?)

High court: DeKalb voters must approve arts center bonds (Sembler, too?)
September 29, 2009 --

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that DeKalb County’s development authority needs voter approval to sell bonds to pay off debt on a new performing arts center. But the impact of the decision could be much broader, requiring a public referendum for virtually any bond issue, including a controversial proposal to help the Sembler Co. complete its Town of Brookhaven mixed-use project with tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks.

Report: Family violence, loved one’s death affected 5th-grader before suicide

August 26, 2009 --

Domestic violence and the death last year of a beloved grandmother may have played a role in the suicide of a DeKalb County fifth-grader, an investigative report released Wednesday says. Retired Fulton County judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore found “no evidence” that school officials were told of alleged bullying of Jaheem Herrera, 11, before he took his life. But the judge suggested Jaheem was affected by domestic violence directed against his mother and by the death six months earlier of the grandmother who raised him.

Judge refuses to block release of Kathryn Johnston file

Judge refuses to block release of Kathryn Johnston file
July 8, 2009 --

A Fulton County judge this morning refused to block an oversight board’s access to investigative files in the fatal 2006 police shooting of Kathryn Johnston. Atlanta police turned over the files Tuesday to the city’s Citizen Review Board. The International Brotherhood of Police Officers tried to stop transfer of the files, but Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob told the IBPO’s lawyer today that his timing was off.

June 13

June 13, 2009 --

DeKalb: Campaign donations go to official with influence over key tax break Cheating scandal sparks rule change Twiggs County judge accused of misconduct