Judge Johnny Caldwell of the Griffin Circuit Superior Court (Fayette, Spalding, Pike, and Upson counties) resigned suddenly this week. The Fayette Daily News provides some background:
Some linked concerns to Caldwell’s involvement in the year-long battle over taxpayer funding of death penalty cases. Others questioned whether his decision to resign was prompted by a recent investigation by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission. The JQC is responsible for conducting investigations and hearings with respect to complaints of ethical misconduct by Georgia judges and is also authorized to issue Advisory Opinions regarding appropriate judicial conduct.
On the day of his resignation, Caldwell also submitted a hand-written letter to the Judicial Quality Commission dated April 19, which stated “I hereby agree to never seek (or) accept judicial office again.”
Governor Perdue would normally be expected to appoint a replacement, who would serve until standing for election in 2012. No word yet if Brian Kemp has always dreamed of being a Superior Court Judge.