Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

What’s Going On in the Alapaha Circuit?

Posted by Maggie on March 5, 2008

The occasional article on the craziness in the Alapaha Circuit (a five-county region near Valdosta) has trickled in now and then. But it looks like things are heating up down there and it’s starting to look like no one will get through unscathed.

The Circuit’s Chief Judge has been under investigation by the FBI, including wiretaps. Judge Blitch is already under investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission . (Imposing illegal fees, using his influence in criminal cases against his son and others, and reducing sentences without authority.)

This came out in a motion last week where JQC and Judge Blitch wanted to compel the DA to testify about her role in the FBI’s investigation. She’d objected in an earlier deposition and refused to answer certain questions. (The article includes a link to the motion which includes the transcript of the deposition. Despite my issues with the Daily Report, I love that they include stuff like this on their webpage.) The hearing resolved the motion (the DA must testify about anything within her personal knowledge, but not about anything she may have heard on tapes recorded by the FBI) and it doesn’t appear that the FBI has filed any formal charges.

Despite all the hubbub, the Judge is still on the bench. The DA and her subordinates are still appearing before him on a near-daily basis. It’s one of these very small worlds, in fact, the DA’s husband represented Judge Blitch early on in the case. Glad I’m not practicing there right now.

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