Brooks E. Blitch III, the chief judge of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit (which is made up of Lanier, Atkinson, Berrien, Cook and Clinch Counties), and who has been accused of misconduct by a state agency and the Feds, announced today he will resign from his position, effective June 30.
Blitch faced charges by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission that he oversaw thousands of dollars in illegal payments to county employees and ordered the early release of convicted felons. Blitch was also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal superseding indictment filed last month against one of his former employees, one-time Clinch County Magistrate Judge Linda C. Peterson. Blitch, according to the Fulton County Daily Report, “gave Peterson a $14,000 raise after she helped him and his son resolve a legal claim in a manner that the indictment alleges is extortion.”
This situation has been developing for a long time in Homerville and it’s good to see that a fresh start from the Bench is soon going to be possible. Blitch, by the way, is married to former state Sen. Peg Blitch, D-Homerville, who retired from the Legislature in 2005.
Meanwhile, the sheriff of Clinch County, Winston C. Peterson, remains the subject of a superseding indictment that accuses him of two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of perjury and one count of forced labor.
Good times, indeed, in South Georgia.