Committee recommends changes to Georgia judicial watchdog


ATLANTA, Ga (AP) — A Georgia legislative study committee has recommended changes to the state’s judicial watchdog.

Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to abolish the Judicial Qualifications Commission and require state legislators to recreate it.

Study committee chairman Rep. Wendell Willard said he expects legislation will be drafted and presented for approval early in the legislative session, which begins in January.

The commission was created in 1972 to investigate complaints against judges and recommend disciplinary action if needed.

Supporters of the amendment said the commission has done work. But they said judges’ rights to due process were violated in recent years.

Some of the recommended changes include: requiring members to consult with the rest of the commission before pursuing an investigation and providing for the discipline and removal of commissioners who behave improperly.

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