A judge who shared drugs with his stripper girlfriend, along with a second jurist who freed criminal defendants without telling prosecutors, both lost their law licenses today. The Georgia Supreme Court disbarred former Superior Court Judge Brooks Blitch and accepted the voluntary surrender of former federal judge Jack Camp‘s license to practice law.
Seven guards at Macon State Prison have been charged in connection with an alleged inmate beating, the GBI announced today. The guards were accused of aggravated battery in connection with an assault that resulted in an extended hospitalization for one inmate.
Jailhouses are rockin‘ in northeast Georgia, as hundreds of defendants awaiting trial are once again guaranteed an attorney if they cannot afford one. The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council this week settled a lawsuit alleging it had abandoned poor defendants in the five-county Northern Judicial Circuit. The judge signing the consent order concluded the state’s indigent-defense system is “fraught with a lack of accountability.”
Chris Mathis, the elected chief magistrate of Floyd County, today queued up in the lengthening line of Georgia judges who have resigned while under investigation for misconduct. He reportedly stepped down after meeting with Richard Hyde, investigator for the state Judicial Qualifications Commission.
A North Georgia judge faces a public reprimand next week, apparently for verbally abusing and threatening several GBI agents. Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Graham faces the music at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Chattooga County Courthouse, the Judicial Qualifications Commission announced today. She presides in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, where the slogan is “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”
And the beat goes on … Paschal English, the chief Superior Court judge of the Griffin Judicial Circuit, resigned Friday as questions swirled about his handling of complaints against another judge in his circuit.
Another one bites the dust: Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr., a Superior Court judge in Fayette and adjoining counties for 15 years, resigned today effective at the end of the week. Caldwell said he wanted “time to visit with my grandkids and maybe practice law.”
They’re opening a new can of judges in the Georgia mountains, where three jurists have quit in four months. One of the new judges is House Speaker David Ralston’s law partner. Another will replace Mountain Circuit Superior Court Judge James Cornwell, who stepped down Friday. The governor reported Cornwell’s resignation to the state agency that looks into charges of judicial misconduct.