Georgia Chief Judge In Big Trouble
NOVEMBER 21, 2007
Weeks after Georgia’s Judicial Commission launched seven misconduct claims against a chief Superior Court judge, new and more serious accusations have surfaced against the veteran jurist at the center of a federal corruption investigation.
Considered one of the most powerful politicians in a rural South Georgia county, the senior judge is accused of repeatedly violating the law and judicial code of conduct as well as various ethical violations that date back five years.
In a 22-page document the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission accuses Judge Brooks Blitch of using money collected from criminal defendants to illegally pay county employees and ordering the early release of violent felons convicted of child molestation, aggravated assault and theft.
Judge Blitch is also charged with making unlawful orders of termination to keep his best friend’s son, who had been arrested for felonies such as cocaine possession and burglary, out of prison and off of probation. In fact, the judge said on the record during a pre-trial hearing that he would not send his best friend’s son to prison.
Since 1980 Blitch has served on the bench in Georgia’s rural Clinch County, where as chief judge he oversees the five-county Alapaha Judicial Circuit. His wife, Peg Blitch, is a former Democratic state senator. Judge Blitch could ultimately be removed from the bench.
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