After a nearly three-and-a-half-year battle, a Georgia judge has been removed from the bench.
The Georgia Supreme Court decided Appeals Court Judge Christian Coomer’s behavior undermined public confidence, so he had to go. Coomer’s attorney sent Channel 2′s Tom Jones a statement from Coomer where he acknowledges errors in judgment.
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The former Director of the Judicial Qualifications Commission said this decision shows that all judges will be held accountable.
“When you take that job and you put on that robe you’re held to a higher standard,” Chuck Boring said.
Boring said the Supreme Court’s decision is unprecedented.
“I think it’s the first time it’s happened in this state for a judge at that level to be removed involuntarily by the Supreme Court,” he said.
The Supreme Court decided Coomer should be removed after it said his behavior regarding the use of campaign funds and his dealings with a legal client undermined public confidence.
Coomer responded in this statement: “While I am certainly disappointed with this outcome, I acknowledge that my own errors in judgment resulted in the Supreme Court’s decision. I will use this setback as an opportunity to reexamine my flaws and do better. I remain committed to my core values of dedication to God and my family, and engagement in service to others.”
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Boring questioned Coomer when a three-judge panel recommended he be removed.
He says Coomer took advantage of an elderly client with questionable loans and a will where Coomer was the beneficiary.
Boring said Coomer also used campaign funds to finance family trips to places like Hawaii.
“As a public official, taking campaign funds from people who are contributing to you for your campaign thinking it’s for campaign purposes and then you turn around and use it for family vacations. I find that particularly egregious.” Boring said.
So did the Supreme Court.
Boring says what Coomer did put a temporary stain on the judiciary system.
“I think today showing the public that if you do these types of things and you’re held accountable I think that increases the public’s confidence,” he said.
The Supreme Court also decided Coomer won’t be eligible to be elected or appointed to any judicial office in the state for the next seven years.
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