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Circuit to get fifth judge; no decision by JQC

The Griffin Judicial Circuit – which includes Pike, Upson, Spalding and Fayette counties – will get a fifth judge who will be appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp for a two-year term starting Jan. 1, 2020. After the two year term is over for the appointed judge, a nonpartisan election will be held in 2020 and each new judge will serve a four-year term. The circuit is currently short one judge after Robert ‘˜Mack’ Crawford was suspended last fall for what the Judicial Qualifications Commission called ‘˜egregious’ misconduct relating to the theft of more than $15,000 from the registry of the Pike County Superior Court. An ethics hearing before the Judicial Qualifications Commission was held March 21 and 22 but no official decision has been announced by the JQC. At the hearing, Crawford was the first witness to testify. He said he had no criminal intent when he deposited the funds into his account and apologized for how he handled things.

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