Judicial turmoil as 2 judges quit during state ethics probe

Chief Superior Court Judge Paschal A. English Jr., seen here in his time on the TV show Survivor. Photo/Special.

Fayette County’s legal community was rocked last week by the unexpected resignations of two Superior Court judges, due in large part to sexually charged comments that one uttered to a female attorney during the course of a contentious Peachtree City divorce case.

The week began April 19 with the stunningly unexpected resignation of Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr., who later admitted to making “inappropriate comments” to female attorneys.

On Friday, the week ended with the totally unexpected resignation of Chief Superior Court Judge Paschal A. English Jr. Both judges live in Upson County, the southernmost part of the four-county Griffin Judicial Circuit.

The Citizen revealed Friday that English was informed of Caldwell’s sexually-charged remarks about Peachtree City attorney Susan Brown back in fall 2008. English took no action and instead told Brown: “You just have to go talk to Judge Caldwell yourself,” according to Brown in an exclusive interview.

Caldwell resigned under pressure from an investigation by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, as Caldwell ultimately signed a handwritten “consent order” that he would never seek or hold judicial office again.

English’s resignation was tendered Friday.

“It is with great remorse that I tender my resignation, but it is time for me and my family to concentrate on a different direction in our lives,” English wrote.

Neither judge in their resignations indicated the real reasons for their abrupt departures.

Prior to English’s resignation Friday, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced that he would appoint a replacement for the two and a half years remaining on Caldwell’s term. Now, in what might be an unprecedented occurrence in Georgia judicial annals, a second judge’s slot in the same circuit has opened up with the rushed resignation of the chief judge.

English is well-known for participating on the fourth season of the TV reality game show “Survivor.” In 2005, English was considered for an appointment to the Georgia Supreme Court, and he was nominated by none other than Caldwell.

The two men have a long history. English actually worked as an assistant for then-District Attorney Caldwell in the late 1980s.

Caldwell became ensnared in what was then known as the Fantasy Fitness scandal in Peachtree City that led to both the city building inspector and the city attorney losing their positions with the city.

Caldwell was passed over when the next judgeship became available, with the governor appointing instead Caldwell’s assistant, English. Caldwell then lost the next DA’s race to Fayette County attorney Fletcher Sams.

Then after beating Sams in a rematch and with a different governor in office, Caldwell was appointed to the next available judge’s slot in the Griffin circuit.

No one then could have foreseen the stunning turn of events that led to Caldwell and English resigning, which began following a March hearing in a contentious divorce case. Brown was representing the wife in that case, Janet Bell Crook, and after the hearing ended she said she visited the new judge on the case, Christopher C. Edwards, to explain a remark she had made regarding unfairness in the case.

After Edwards learned of Brown’s allegations against Caldwell, he called all parties in for a conference to make sure everyone was made aware of the alleged judicial improprieties.

Judge Edwards told the attorneys that he would have to recuse himself from the case unless a waiver was entered from the parties saying they would not appeal any of the previous judges’ rulings on the case, according to a hearing transcript.

The transcript also showed that Edwards was concerned to such a point about the risque comments attributed to Caldwell, that he wondered whether Caldwell’s previous orders in the case were even valid.

“If those orders might have been something that was suggested were improper in some kind of way, then I have absolutely no business enforcing them until it was determined that they were proper orders,” Edwards said according to the transcript.

Edwards took pains to avoid mentioning the detailed comments in court, instead calling a recess in the hearing so Brown could share the information with all attorneys in the case.

In light of the new information about Caldwell, Mrs. Crook was allowed to seek counsel from another attorney on the chance that she wasn’t made fully aware of the extent of Caldwell’s inappropriate remarks. It was that new attorney, Gary S. Freed of Atlanta, who filed the initial motion April 19 asking Edwards to be recused from the case, a full week after Edwards teetered on recusing himself to begin with.

Edwards at the April 12 hearing declined to recuse himself on the basis that it would further slow the trial, as must then be assigned to out-of-circuit judge, according to the transcript of the hearing.

Another factor swaying Edwards was the well-being of the Crook children. Their guardian ad litem, Jack Overman, reminded Edwards that any significant delay in the trial was not in the children’s best interest.

Freed ultimately filed a motion asking Edwards to recuse himself, which Edwards complied with, followed by fellow Superior Court Judges English and Tommy Hankinson.

Aside from the Crook divorce case was the matter of how to handle an alleged judicial impropriety. English took no action on Brown’s complaint, an omission that could be a violation of a state judicial canon that requires judges to “take appropriate action” when they “receive information indicating a substantial likelihood that another judge” committed a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Judges who have “actual knowledge” that another judge has committed a violation of the judicial code which questions the judge’s fitness for office “shall inform the appropriate authority,” the Judicial Conduct Code states.

Judge Edwards noted specifically in the April 2 transcript that not only does he lack “actual knowledge” but he also couldn’t find “a substantial likelihood” of a judicial violation.

Edwards indicated Brown’s explanation of Caldwell’s inappropriate comments “is, in essence, a report.”

Attention now turns to the two openings that the governor will fill. Among those short-listed in the past for judgeships have been current State Court Judge Fletcher Sams and well-connected Peachtree attorney Doug Warner, a senior law partner with state Rep. Matt Ramsey, one of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s House floor leaders.

Attorney John Mrosek of Peachtree City also is actively seeking the appointment. Mrosek ran against Caldwell twice — in 2000 and 2004 — without success. At least one female attorney from Fayette is rumored to be interested.

Current County Commissioner Eric Maxwell has also been mentioned as a possibility for one of the two slots. The attorney who figured prominently in the downfall of the two judges — Susan Brown — previously served as Maxwell’s campaign manager in his successful race for the county commission and the two are described as longtime close friends. Maxwell has qualified this week for reelection to the county commission and has told The Citizen he is not interested in becoming a judge.

The two remaining superior court judges are — in order of their seniority — Christopher Edwards, who lives in Brooks in south Fayette County, and Tommy Hankinson, who lives in Upson County.

As district attorney, Fayette’s Scott Ballard also has to be considered as a possibility, since the Griffin Circuit has a history of DAs being promoted by appointment to a judgeship.

That happened when DA Andrew Whalen left the then-part-time DA position to become the circuit’s only superior court judge in the late 1960s, followed by DA Ben Miller’s ascension in the 1980s. They were followed by Assistant DA Paschal English and DA Johnny Caldwell in the late 1980s and mid-1990s.

The string was broken with DA William McBroom of Griffin. Judges Edwards and Hankinson both faced the voters and won their open seats.

While another appointment from Upson County may be a long-shot this time, Spalding County can’t be discounted as the potential home of at least one of the next two new judges. Spalding — once the largest county in the circuit — hasn’t had a hometown judge since Andrew Whalen retired more than a decade ago. Little Pike County probably won’t be a factor even with two slots open.

— with additional reporting by Cal Beverly, editor.

MonkeyBoy37
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Ms.Brown is setting up her next pawn on the legal chess board

Is a local female attorney meeting with her next Judge? I understand that the Governor is asking for nominations. It will be interesting to see who is selected and their relationship with her.

Vic Remeneski
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No Comment

No Comment

Vic Remeneski
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Why bother?

Why no comment?

jevank
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.

.

alittlebirdietoldme
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Scott Bradshaw Opinion Article~ Come on John Munford~!

We want to know more about this~~~~~~~~

• I was surprised to learn of the hurried resignations of Superior Court Judges Johnnie Caldwell and Paschal English last week. There have been rumors of favoritism, unethical behavior and possible corruption in the Griffin Judicial Circuit for years. It appears the secretive Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission was called in to whitewash the situation and help maintain the status quo in exchange for taking one or two casualties ... just for show!

There may be more to this scandal than meets the naked eye. John Munford did a great job of reporting this story and should continue his investigative reporting until all of the facts become public. The taxpayers have seen the smoke but not the fire and are entitled to full disclosure and a change in the way the Griffin Judicial Circuit is managed.

BOLO
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DA Ballard
Quote:

As district attorney, Fayette’s Scott Ballard also has to be considered as a possibility, since the Griffin Circuit has a history of DAs being promoted by appointment to a judgeship.

If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.

kmurph
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I have always been told there

I have always been told there is three sides to every story...one persons side, the other persons side and the truth. What is sad is that now every bitter person that these judges did not rule in their favor feels that just because they may possibly be guilty of these accusations that they were unjustly treated in court. Now is'nt that ridiculous? I am sure that these few that are going to use this excuse to claim injustice in their favor were guilty in the first place.

news_10
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The public fails to realize

The public fails to realize that judges still holding office are not allowed to publicly comment on any cases tried in their courtrooms, past or present. Unless Edwards resigns, we may never know his actual involvement (guilty or innocent) in the issue. Either way, he will certainly have competition in November's election.

Sugar Hunn
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It is not about Justice

As a long time observer, and somewhat of a realist, I don't believe that the Courts, especially at the Circuit level, are about dispensing justice. Most cases are decided by who is the better liar. This is not limited to plaintiffs and defendants that are represented by counsel, but includes those that represent themselves as well.

The inherent issue in our circuit courts are that the Judges are too lazy to pursue the truth. Some of the lies I have heard over the years are so blatant that its hard to imagine how they were told with a straight face. I never understood why the judges didn't question any of them.

I hope the next round of appointees and those who choose to run in November, will be more interested in serving justice that protecting their friends and collecting a paycheck.

theechelon4
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Stay out of court

From the limited time I have spent in Fayette courtrooms and by just watching human behavior from every aspect, this is what I have observed:

Lawyers: It's not about which side is right or which side is wrong. It's all about the WIN. To them, it's no more than a football game and they want their team to have more touchdowns. It's quite simple. Then when it is over, they go have a beer with the lawyer on the other side.

Jurors: Most have NO IDEA that important evidence is usually being kept from them by a fancy-footed lawyer who was able to deceive a judge to side with him/her. They spend a day or more in court, try their best to make a right decision, and haven't a clue that THEY are being screwed out of being able to make a fair decision because of deceitful statements made to them and by withheld evidence.

Plaintiffs: Stop suing so much. Try to work with the potentially future defendant instead of being a big shot. You have no idea what might be going on in the life of that person or their family. Be patient. God will take care of you. Pray. God will influence that person to pay you or you will get paid another way.

Defendants: No matter who sues you for what amount of money, pay them even if you don't owe it...and then run fast. Don't look back. Their turn is coming. I don't advocate letting people run over you, but no one wins in court except the lawyers and certain other people (you know who you are).

AnonRegisteredVoter
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Real Morals

I want a judge/da who would never consider exchanging a sexual act for a plea or verdict. I want a judge/da that doesn't think a violation of the judicial code of conduct is a minor infraction. I want a judge/dA who would never consider cutting back room deals with friends who are so twisted that they would murder and dismember a teenager for refusing his sexual demands. I want a judge/DA that will look and see an abusive, terrorizing POS husband regardless of the Attorney who represents him or the position he holds. I want a judge/da who will look at a female lawyer and respect that she had made it this far in a world that continues to insist she be a sexual toy for any man who comes along. What ever happened to using a little chivalry? I want a judge/da who genuinely cares for ALL people who respect others rights...white, black, old, young, rich, poor, gay, straight.

Sugar Hunn
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Lessons Learned should not be ignored

I told my son not to touch the stove, he would get burned, it would hurt real bad, and he would have no one to blame but himself. I guess he had to learn for himself.

In the past, based on the fine reporting above, it appears that Judges have been appointed based where they live, who they know, what job they may be holding at the time there was an opening. This seems to have gone on for generations. Based on the fact that there are two openings on the bench, and there may be a third coming very soon, this might not be the best way to go about finding new judges. It doesn't seem like it has worked out real well so far.

So, if you eliminate the politics and in-bred network, the Governor may be forced to choose two or three men or women based on their ability to carry out justice fairly and in accordance with the laws of the great State of Georgia. If they were interested in public service, they would accept the nomination knowing that their personal and professional lives will be held up to a high standard of conduct than the rest of the population.

This too would be an unprecedented occurrence in Georgia judicial annals.

eagleeye
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Novel Idea

Absolutely agree with you. The article mentions one attorney that is a partner of a favorite politician of Gov. Perdue (doesn't that kind of imply that we are still in the "who you know" old boy network.) It also mentions an attorney that has run unsuccessfully twice and lost soundly. Doesn't that maybe imply that the people had a say and they said no thank you. Wouldn't it be a novel idea to appoint someone that has no political aspiration, but is rather a good jurist, fair, honest and ethical. There are many such in the Sixth District -- let's hope that they get some attention and will step up if asked.

Voice of Fayett...
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Scooter Ballard Should be Next

Just while this investigation is a week old, District Attorney Scott Ballard says it ain't no big deal. Sez he (in the Griffin Daily News) :

Ballard expressed concern that the resignations of Caldwell and English may cause mistrust of the judicial system.

“Judges are held to an extremely high standard for their conduct and are subjected to extreme scrutiny,” he said. “What may seem to the rest of us as a very minor infraction is treated very harshly by the JQC.”

http://www.griffindailynews.com/view/full_story/7191097/article-Superior....

What a bunch of jerks....Minor infraction, huh ?

Sugar Hunn
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I would not join a club that would have me as a member

This does not apparently apply to the judicial club that includes the elected members. First English successfully protects Caldwell. Then Edwards tries to protect English and fails. Now Ballard protects all of them. I thought that there were laws against collusion. Maybe it is not for Ballard to pursue, but he has no place in tampering with a prospective jury by minimizing the actions of the Judges.

I have not forgotten that each of these men sought the office with the associated and expected higher standards of conduct. No one held a gun to their head and said you will be a Judge or else. They knew what they were signing up for.

Edwards is up for relection this cycle unless he does the right thing and recuses himself from the bench by resigning. It is hard to imagine that he will be successful in November. I can think of at least four votes he won't get.

mudcat
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here comes de judge, here comes de judge

Maybe this is Scooter's idea about how to audition for a judge job.

If Edwards folds next maybe even Scooter could get in.

Who can I sue without judges?

corruptionPTC
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Do yall really think that ALL

Do yall really think that ALL that has happened here is a few inappropriate comments to females? come on....there is a lot more to this besides comments to one attorney. How about illegal rulings, refusal to follow the law, huge conflicts that exist between the Judges and the attorneys who bring/brought cases before them...

lglsec
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Its very possible that is not

Its very possible that is not all that happened. You never get the full story. But as for the illegal rulings and refusal to follow the law, that is an issue that has to be dealt with in appellet court. Conflicts that would require a judge to excuse himself from a case are very hard to come by. They all socialize with each other, it's called the Bar Association. Accountability should be utilized, but most often isn't.

lglsec
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It comes down to this. Judge

It comes down to this. Judge Caldwell should not have made the comment and in the least should have apologized. Susan Brown should have reported the incident n a timely manner. And, Judge English was legally bound to report the incident when he became aware of it. That is what the judical committee will be looking at.

Bonkers
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I feel complied

To compel myself to resign from something!
When I see so many scattering to the woods from the same thing, I feel complied to also run like crazy.

There must be something wrong that makes all that happen all at once and it may be pensions? Or Trials.

However, just in case it is some dread disease, bombs, gas, or women, I am going to run anyway.

Better safe than sorry.
When might we run out of judges? Or are they like lawyers, no end to them?
Actually, I prefer the "Oxbow Incident" justice anyway---requires no judge.

flightplan
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the obvious choice?

you have got to be kidding me, Eric Maxwell the obvious choice? Why don't you just reinstate Caldwell? He would be just like him. He's a big Johnnie fan. Eric will be more of the same that people are complaining about. Please, don't insult our intelligence. We don't need anymore "insiders". We've already seen the damage they can do.

rmoc
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Oh such a victim

Oh I am a victim...poor me...I have been harrassed a few times over the years and found that I you speak up to the harrasser, most of the time they will back off and often apolagize. Judge English asked her to address this with Judge Calwell before making a stink.. If she did and the behavior continued then she is the victim but it seems like she chose the "OH I AM A VICTIM" ...made a stink before addressing this like an honorable human being!!!!and proved that she is part of the problem. People sometimes make inappropriate comments but for "GOODNESS SAKE" lets not ruin everyone who ever makes a mistake. My goodness, she is a lawyer and should have the skin of an alligator.

Bonkers
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rmoc

Right, talking nicely to a judge who harasses women with sexual talk (which he admitted) will always stop it instantly!

Now if the harasser had been a certain group of minorities who harassed a white woman lawyer just once, then he would still be serving time.
But judges carry too much responsibility to be held up to normal conduct, don't they? Never take a job like this if you can't behave yourself.

Afraid there WILL be many law suits over this from convicted people by the sentencing by these judges. That is too bad and a reason to hide it all, but it is not now hidden, is it. Nor should it be.

If a trial of these judges indicates poor judgement and illegal activities, they should be sentenced by another judge hopefully who doesn't need to do this stuff---even to am attractive lawyer who put up with it and finally wanted them to order papers from a person of conflict in a trial of hers, and they wouldn't do it.
They owed her, you see.
This can get bad if it isn't soon exposed to all the facts.
They are just judges and lawyers.

rmoc
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Bonkers

I did not hear evidence that she ever tried to address this one on one..I stated that "MOST" of the time if the harasser is confronted politely they will back off and sometimes did not realize they offended someone...I never saw any evidence that this was addressed by human beings..just legal victims and the big bad boogeyman. Lets SUE everyone since we are all victims...

corruptionPTC
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she did not ruin these

she did not ruin these Judge's lives because they made a mistake. They ruined their own lives by refusing to follow that Judicial Oath they took and for hundreds of other reasons other than a few comments. what comes around goes around...

Road Runner
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This is a typical pattern to resign

Not only in the judicial court but local FCSO, FCPD.and PTCPD...how can we forget. This is cowardly on their part and it has happened time after time. Good old boy system to prevent the truth from becoming public.

jevank
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John Munford
John Munford wrote:

The Citizen reported Friday that Brown told English in fall 2008 about Caldwell’s inappropriate comments, but English took no action and instead told her: “You just have to go talk to Judge Caldwell yourself.”

Is this fact or should it read, "The Citizen reported Friday that Brown SAID SHE told English..."?

captain obvious
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I may be crazy

but i witnessed these things too. First hand. Susan Brown deserves to be harassed. Every where she goes. As previously stated she is unethical and unprofessional and does not deserve to practicing law. I stand behind those statements. And will to my dying breath. The list of her unethical and unprofessional behavior is quite long.....shall I start? Or would you rather I keep it to my myself. I agree with the other poster who said that if she had asked Johnnie to refrain he would have apologized and stopped. And he would NOT have used it against her. Do you think this woman has any credibility in any court in this state? She is a laughing stock and a disgrace to the State Bar of Georgia.

mbest
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I agree with alot of what you say, but not about Susan

She's a California girl so she is different, but she has a boat load of common sense to go with her obvious intelligence. She's not a laughing stock. You are obviously someone very bitter about the situation, maybe Jan or one of Jan's friends. Don't blame Johnnie's problems on Susan. I like Johnnie and I don't think he would agree with you vilifying Susan.

Falcon66
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California Girl?

California Girl??? She was born in N.C., and raised in Peachtree City. Get your facts straight....

NUK_1
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Agree with the good Captain here

Susan Brown is a professional victim who has tried to drag down anyone who crosses her in Fayette, going all the way back to Doug Mitchell and Newt Gingrich on to Dan Tennant, Chief Jim Murray(he won't promote my husband, WAAAHHHHH! now Caldwell, and on and on. It's amazing how she can talk nasty trash with anyone yet the same or less is suddenly "offensive" when there is some perceived gain for her or it's "interesting" to tell others about. The town gossip and rumor-mongerer claims another victim and clears the field for her great buddy, Eric Maxwell, an ethically-challenged judge and completely inept commissioner.

I am totally against "blaming the victim" but there is no "victim" here. This is disgusting political gamesmanship and ugly gossip/accusations from someone with quite a lengthy history of doing the same BS over and over.

mbest
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Anything negative from NUK 1 is like an endorsement.

Wish he hated me too

tailgatertoo
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Judge English

I think that it is a very sad day knowing we have lost two wonderful fair judges this week. Judge English has always conducted himself in the most honorably, dignified manner. I dont know the reason behind his resignation but again, it is the citizens of this circuits loss.
As for Judge Caldwell, again it is my honest opinion that regardless of his personal converations on his personal time has nothing to with his qualifications of being a fair judge.
I would like to add personal observation. I know they tailgate, I know where they tailgate. I also know that they have tailgated at the same place for many years...the irony here is that THEY tailgate there and never tailgate any where else....if he made any sexist comment which he admits to, Ms. Brown had to place herself at THEIR tailgate party. The Judge didn't wander from tailgate to tailgate to insult women...he never left his place of tailgating. I'm a lady and I know if I am being disrespected how to handle the situation. First letting offender know that the comment is not appreciated and asking them to refrain in the future of using such language. If it happens again, I simply remove myself from said situation. IF Ms. Brown was offended I must ask if she ever spoke to him personally to inform him of her feelings. Had she told him that she was offended, I feel he would have been first in line to extend his apologies. One can't fix something they knew nothing about.
In closing, I would like to ask all of us to refrain from guessing, gossiping and speaking in a negative nature towards these men. As it is no longer just the two Judges that are affected...they both have families. When you speak ill of them you are hurting innocent people. Wishing Judge Caldwell and Judge English the very best. Thank you for trying your best to represent our community in the court system,

Chris P. Bacon
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Making excuses for Caldwell
tailgatertoo wrote:

I would like to add personal observation. I know they tailgate, I know where they tailgate. I also know that they have tailgated at the same place for many years...the irony here is that THEY tailgate there and never tailgate any where else....if he made any sexist comment which he admits to, Ms. Brown had to place herself at THEIR tailgate party. The Judge didn't wander from tailgate to tailgate to insult women...he never left his place of tailgating.

Tailgetertoo's suggestion is analogous to the reprehensible "logic" that says that women who visit nightclubs have no one but themselves to blame if they get raped.

tailgatertoo
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In no way would I ever blame

In no way would I ever blame a victim for something they have no control. I am merely suggesting that women must remain in control and try to make a good judgement call where their well being is in question. I hardly compare "rape" and a sexually suggestive remark as the same thing. Now dont jump to conclusions that I approve of such conduct I dont... I consider it disgusting and unexcusable. I would like to know did Ms. Brown stick around and party or did she leave? Again, as a female, I can give a look and say that I don't appreciate that language ....and no hard feelings on either side if an apology is given. At that point, I make the decision to stay or walk away. I sincerely doubt if she felt her safety was in jeopardy. If she felt that strongly that she was "wronged" then she should have stood up for herself at that point. She IS an attorney, and most attorneys have an eloquent way with words and have no problem stating their side of their case. Please don't insult true crime vicitms by comparing a vulgar remark by somebody one knows ...to an attack on an innocent victim.

mbest
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Pascal, I wish you hadn't resigned.

Even if you did what was accussed, it did not rise to the level of resignation. We all knew Johnnie was a trainwreck waiting to happen. No one expected you to be his collateral damage. I know Susan Brown and I'm sure if she had a say, she would beg you not to resign.

As far as replacing you, I don't think you can be replaced. Eric Maxwell would be an excellent choice to follow you but I think Fletcher Sams should be the first to be considered. I'm sure either of these men would make sure April would be taken care of, as she should be. She has dedicated herself to that circuit for almost two decades. This all should have ended with Johnnie's stepping down and nothing further.

Whoever suggested Dunn or Pfiefer as replacements must be high, stop eating the mushrooms.

Robert W. Morgan
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I'm with you, babe. No more gossip. Let's talk replacement judge

Judge Eric Maxwell is an obvious choice, but who will the other one be? Greg Dunn? Peter Pfeifer? Steve Brown?

BOLO
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Morgan, not so obvious

If you want more of the same Good Ol' Boy network, Maxwell's your man. I want to see someone completely different, not some insider. I don't know who that would be but I definitely don't want an insider.

Robert W. Morgan
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Its not about your wants, bolo - or even mine

This one is up to the Governor. He will appoint 2 judges from a list of five - or maybe 10 since there are 2 openings. We don't get to vote on it, we don't even get to put people on the list. All we get to do is speculate.

I couldn't come up with 10 people qualified to be a Superior Court Judge in the county if my life depended upon it. There aren't that many.

Maxwell is part of the good old boy network, but that's where most of the candidates will come from. Maybe Scott Ballard can parlay his long DA career into a judgeship. And I guess Judge Tommy Hankison become Chief Justice immediately.

Bonkers
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.

.

Bonkers
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tailtoo: judges

You simplify the story way too much!
This woman, Brown, has to work at the courthouse every day with these judges. Can you imagine how she would be treated if she told one of them to quit sexually harassing her? She might as well have opened up a house closing business. I'm not defending the woman, I don't know if she even participated with them or not.
I am saying however that there is such a thing as judicial demeanor that is appropriate, anywhere.

Making some good judgments in court doesn't make up for such mannerisms, if they occurred.
Unfortunately we will never know for sure.

captain obvious
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Judge English

I doubt that Judge English was "intimidated" by a junior judge. Perhaps he resigned in order to stop any further investigation into his actions. And I don't mean as related to Ms. Brown. Food for thought!

captain obvious
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The Griffin Judicial Circuit

The Griffin Judicial Circuit should be in mourning. We have lost the best judge we have ever had. His name: Johnnie Caldwell. Yes he's made some enemies over the years and doubtless make mistakes as well. How many of us would want to sit in judgment and live with our decisions?

As for Susan Brown. Many have asked why did it take her so long to come out about her alleged "harassment". That is a good question. If you see her on the street or in the court room, or even in the local stores shopping, you should ask her if she ever discouraged Judge Caldwell. Did she continue to meet with him in private? Did she continue to appear in his court room dressed inappropriately? Ask her what she did the first time the "harassment" took place. Ask her how many clients she has told: Don't worry I've got a good relationship with your judge. Ask her how many cases she judged shopped to have assigned to Judge Caldwell. Ask her who approached who at the now infamous football game incident. Susan Brown is not the innocent victim she would have you believe. She is at least as culpable as Johnnie Caldwell. And he had the character to go on tv and tell the truth. The truth is something Susan Brown would not recognize if it slapped her in the face.

Susan Brown should do the right thing....relinquish her license to practice law and leave the state. She is not fit to stand in a court of law and plead a case. She is unethical and unprofessional. I challenge you to find a client of hers that has nothing bad to say about her...other than Ms. Crook, of course. And even Ms. Crook would have been much better off with any other attorney in this county. She would probably be divorced by now without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees. Poor lady just does not realize that the real injustice was done to her not by Judge Caldwell but by her own attorney.

MartinDaledotcome
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Joined: 04/29/2010
Poor (trying to get divorced) lady

"Poor lady just does not realize that the real injustice was done to her not by Judge Caldwell but by her own attorney."

Let this be a message to all who may eventually want a divorce. This poor lady has a lot of company, namely the rest of the poor ladies and men who are trying to get divorced or have already completed their divorce. Unless you have ever been divorced, and this includes divorce attorneys and judges who make decisions for them, you don't get it.

Just know that when God said that two will become one, He meant it. When you want a divorce, you don't become two people again; you take the one person and shred the person in half. Try thinking straight or making decisions while being put through a shredder.

This "poor lady" (along with a good portion of the rest of the county) depends on her attorney to make many decisions for her. Whether Susan Brown made decisions for her own financial benefit and not that of her client, I have no idea. But it happens. Many times. Right here in Fayette County. There is one particular attorney/judge combination that is talked about at parties and counseling centers for doing just that. Dragging the proceedings and depositions (and such) out FOREVER. The same story but different faces over and over. That equals more money. The attorneys who practice like this will respond by giving a pretty convincing explanation. Since I can't practice law I can't say for sure but common sense tells me they are blowing smoke.

Consider yourself warned.

As far as Judge Caldwell goes, I have only heard good things about him. Seems like a nice, fair man. I am sorry for both him and Susan Brown. I pray that both of them will offer forgiveness and search their own hearts through all the pain and will come to a deeper understanding of the love that God has for them.

mbest
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Joined: 10/01/2009
Captain crazy, so you're suggesting we should harrass Susan

Brown further by bothering her in the stores or somewhere else in the public? "Hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees", please. That line alone ruins your credibility. I know the truth because I witnessed alot of this. This went on for years and Susan tolerated it because she liked Johnnie. This only came to light because Johnnie made the mistake of making these comments to Susan's clients. Johnnie is being honest about this and would be the first to admit it was his mistake and his alone.

peachykeen
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Fayette county PAY$ the tab

Yep, you guessed it. These two yahoos get to keep their pensions. We had to pay them for their biased rulings and now we have to pay for the "good ole boys" retirement club. Maybe we can a bulk deal on Depends diapers for these two old farts.

AtHomeGym
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peachykeen, just a litle more inro pls

how about some justification for your accusation of "biased rulings" and how Fayete County is responsible for their retirement benefits.

Fayette Snob
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Joined: 04/24/2010
Nine miles of track and ten miles to stop

AND the train has left the station................Chief Judge is not the baby sitter nor nurse maid to the other judges.....He is the scheduler....Insulted while tailgating,.. probably at a UGA game on North Campus...If so....Why didn't Mrs. Susan Brown call the JQC sometime in the last 3 years to report her issues and since she failed to report those problems did she not obstruct thereby delay swift intervention on behalf of the JQC months age?.......Must not have been expedient or profitable enough at the time...Lest we forget Susan Brown's responsibility to act like an adult in this escapade... One must ask "Why didn't tough lawyer Susan go put on her "big girl panties" and tell Judge Caldwell enough is enough instead of playing along with their tete-a-tete until she infected the entire judicial district?.........and now for Chapter 2 of this public and legal display of Schadenfreude.....let's round up all the successful lawyers from Fayette to Upson and parts in between and villify them for winning court cases. SELAH!

Bonkers
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Snob

Yeah, some females have a way of creating havoc. Delilah, Cleopatra, Marie Antionette, Eve (ate the apple), David's wife he got by having her husband killed, Liz Taylor, on and on..... and now someone called lawyer Brown.

Villification of lawyers is almost impossible to add to anyway!

Spyglass
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You make more sense

when you are replying to the Webmaster, out of character...like most normal people do.

Bonkers
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spy

Most normal people reply to the webmaster "out of character," did you say?

I am not an ideologue as you are. I can often see good things on both sides and vote that way!

Mussolini had many followers because he paid pensions and made the trains run on time, yet he slaughtered "unarmed" Africans just to make a military point.

normal
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Joined: 08/11/2009
Back to the island for english

Another one bites the dust, I think there will be more to come, Stay tuned. This really makes you wonder doesnt it.

oopsidaisy
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Joined: 04/24/2010
Judge English probably threw

Judge English probably threw his career away by being intimidated by a Judge who thought he was GOD. Oh,hes having a heart attack now,that he is on the other side of that bench he sat on, and wondering if he is about to get a big helping of what he has been dishing out. If Caldwell done that to this lady, how many others did he harass and get his way ? Im sure its not his offense.

Bonkers
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We don't know what...

The judges said to the lawyer, nor what was covered-up if anything.
We never will since no one will ever go to court on trial.

Whenever great static like this occurs in public service it is much simpler for them to simply resign at 66-80% of current pay and pension away for another 25 years and practice a little law.

Judges, like others in service, are protected from the general public for some good reasons. Otherwise mobs would have them thrown out often.
However when it hits the newspapers and there is some substance to it, the penalty is a simple retirement with pay from that job. Somewhat like Presidents.

peachykeen
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Eagleeye= Greg, John, or Cheryl

Thought we might get to see one of you "Crooks" on here. Two sides to every story really? Your nastiness is just beginning to see the lightof day.

eagleeye
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Not sure who Greg, John or

Not sure who Greg, John or Cheryl are supposed to be. Guess I can have an opinion that might be shared by others! And yes, there are always two sides to every story, which is why we have a democratic system of court hearings.

eagleeye
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What a shame that Fayette

What a shame that Fayette County is loosing two jurists at the same time. It seems that Ms. Brown is allowing her own inability to succeed for her client to take on a whole new life. Perhaps some look needs to be given to her practice of constantly continuing cases, filing meaningless motions and looking around for someone else to blame for the outcomes. She was even asked by one judge to take a leave of absence recently. Judge Caldwell has admitted inappropriate comments, but what is Ms. Brown's excuse to allow this accusation to sit for 3 years. It finally comes to light when she is put the test of trying a case she continued at least 5 times! All the blame cannot be place on the judge's shoulders. There are always two sides to every story.

CarlEQue
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Joined: 04/23/2010
Leave of Absence

Well, if she was asked to take a leave of absence, why is she still on this case? Shouldn't she have "recused" herself, and why didn't she? The real question is, why was she asked to take a leave of absence?

Reality_Check
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Check yourself

If you have a mother or a daughter that has worked in a predominantly male field, the chances are very high they have suffered from sexual harassment. To come forward not only affects the individuals involved but affects the victim's career. It is not a decision that comes lightly. I myself have suffered from sexual harassment and it is a horrible experience!!!!!!!! Obviously the evidence was big enough to force 2 judges to resign. Let's not forget, Caldwell admitted to doing this to multiple female attorneys. He is a predator and deserves this punishment!!! English got his just desserts for ignoring it! I just hate they both probably keep their pensions!

abeautifulday4us
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Springtime Music for the Courthouse Gang

Springtime Music for the Courthouse Gang
How about a little spring time music for these crazy judges? What a beautiful time of year---- how about 1928 classic “Making Whoopee”. The music was written by Walter Donaldson, the words by Gus Kahn and first appeared as part of the Broadway-Musical "Whoopee!" in 1928.

Here you go you rowdy courthouse guys---- the great performance by Michelle Pfeiffer of “Making Whoopee”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TULYBRHBAs&feature=related

fiddle
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Joined: 03/04/2009
WOW!

Just WOW! Nuh-uh.

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