Robert “Mack” Crawford was named a Griffin Circuit Superior Court judge last week despite a blistering eight-page critique of his management of Georgia’s system of public defenders. Criminal defense attorney Stephen Bright wrote the Judicial Nominating Commission trying to block Crawford’s appointment, describing his three years as director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council as an “unmitigated disaster.”
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.
Gwinnett County judges have created a special grand jury to investigate land purchases by county government, including parks and sites for libraries, highways and baseball. D.A. Danny Porter said he has already assembled details of 41 parkland buys since 2005, to be followed by particulars on purchases for libraries, rights of way and other property — “probably” including the $5 million purchase of 12 acres for the minor-league Gwinnett Braves’ stadium.