Friday, March 20, 2009

Letter to a Judge

To the Hon. Judge:

When you were elected to serve the citizens of your county, I had high hopes for you. You replaced an honorable man who had served his constituency well, but things change. You had plans to improve your office, to make a difference in the lives of those who reside in your county. I wished you well.

Some time ago, I begin to hear that things were not well with you. Gossip is just that and is often politically motivated. After all, not everyone is going to like every judge. Just the fact that you made some enemies indicated to me that you were doing what you promised when elected.

As time passed, the gossip increased. I still remained neutral. Mistakes in your personal life do reflect on your character, but they do not always interfere with your vocation. I encouraged others to distinguish your private life from your public and to focus on your performance while on the bench.

Yet, with each passing week, more and more tales of your malfeasance in office have come to light. Friends in the legal profession tell me you are not fit to sit on the bench; they say you're out of control. I receive daily e-mails concerning your support of special friends and the taxpayer money you have funnelled to them. Accounts in various state newspapers back this up.

I don't know if you plan to run for re-election or not. I don't think the citizens of your county are willing to wait that long. I know that ethics complaints have been filed against you and that more are coming. If you care about your family and any connection you may have left with them, I would encourage you to step down now, before you're forced to do so.

Gov. Riley is ready to appoint Judge James Hall or a similarly qualified jurist to replace you. Isn't it better to leave now than to force the citizens of this county and your family to be dragged through further scandal? I urge you to consider these things and then do what's right.

Sincerely, Shoalanda