Oh, it’s just that darn Facebook again…


A personal relationship that developed on Facebook apparently sparked the end of a 17-year judicial career for Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Ernest H. Woods III.

Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian M. Rickman said his office received inquiries from the JQC about Woods and the Facebook communications, documented by a series of e-mails that landed on the DA’s desk last October when relatives of a defendant in drug court came in to complain that Woods was unfairly holding their son in jail. The family presented printed copies of 33 pages of e-mails from April to September in 2009 between the judge and 35-year-old Tara Elizabeth Black of Clarkesville, who had been involved with their son. The e-mails showed a developing personal relationship between Black and the judge. In the e-mails, Black prevailed on the judge for his help with her friend’s case in drug court — where Woods presided — as well as a case of her own in which she was accused of theft by deception for not making payments on a loan.

While Woods calls it “a retirement,” I call it shameful and criminal. And with his resignation, any further investigation from these guys will stop. Adios muchacho.


  1. Doug Deal says:

    This is why any meaningful ethics reform in this state has to include judges, sheriffs, county commissioners, DAs and city government.

    It would be nice if there was a statewide grand jury that had the power to investigate and indict any elected official of any level in the state, with charges brought by the attorney general’s office or any group of registered voters (say 5 people to prevent a lone crackpot from filing frivolous charges).

    I am aware of several incidents where judges have misused their powers to help people that were either politically connected or were somehow a friend of associate.

    The lawyers know what goes on, but they cannot do anything because the toothless boards that oversee judges do absolutely nothing except when the act is so extreme their hand is forced, like in this case.

    This builds contempt for the law and government and also empowers petty dictators in their local fiefdoms to the detriment to the citizens for the state.

      • Doug Deal says:

        Thanks Doug.

        I would rather have someone I disagree with in office who was ethical than someone who I support who was a crook. There is no such thing as “minor” forms of corruption.

    • Mozart says:

      If the judge has done something illegal, I’m not sure what “ethics laws” could be passed to “prevent” such illegal actions.

      Do you believe if we just have enough laws, elected people will stop doing unethical and illegal things?

      • Doug Deal says:

        I do not expect unethical people to stop being unethical. I just expect them to be kicked out of their office and given another one 6 feed wide with bars on it.

        If you ask me, about 25% of the people who serve some elected role in government should be in prison instead.

        Individual citizens need standing to bring charges because it is clear that fellow politicians and also fellow lawyers have very little interest in cracking down on their peers.

        Of course, if you enjoy a society where the laws are for the little people then you are free to disagree and support the immoral slime.

        • Mozart says:

          Let me see: I ask a straight question, and I get a roundabout question unrelated to this at all?

          By the way, to your point, I wasn’t “defending Nathan Deals’s ethics problems.” I was merely being provocative by asking a question. It was hilarious to me to see what kind of response that question got with the ranting and raving of Mr. Konop calling me a “racist” when I never said one thing except ask a question.

          This blog is definitely one of the weirdest I’ve ever seen. Weird, weird, weird. Very few people on here know how to think outside their little boxes of existence.

  2. GodHatesTrash says:

    Hillbillies have hillbilly judges. Trash elects and selects trash.

    Georgians get the justice they ask for.

  3. Atticus Grinch says:

    I know that everyone has their hand stretched out for “more” in these days of draconian budget cuts .. but, cases like this point out the absurdity of slashing the budget of the JQC to the point where they have a director and a skeletal staff at best. If the JQC doesn’t police our friends in the judiciary, no one will

    • Mozart says:

      Sonny’s plan to turn Georgia back into a blue state chock-full of corrupt judges that he can invite to go fishin’ with him on his new $27 million facility.

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