Georgia Senate Approves Bill To Form Prosecutor Oversight Commission Despite Democrat Opposition

On Thursday, members of the Georgia state Senate approved a Republican-sponsored bill to form a panel that would oversee district attorneys and solicitors-general in the state. 

State Sen. Randy Robertson, R-Cataula, sponsored the bill, which would create the “Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission.”  

The commission would have the power to discipline, remove, or involuntarily retire prosecutors for several reasons, including, “Mental or physical incapacity interfering with the performance of their duties; Willful misconduct; Willful and persistent failure to carry out their duties; Conviction of a crime of moral turpitude; Conduct that brings the office into disrepute; Knowingly authorizing or allowing an assistant prosecutor to engage in any of the above,” per Fox 5 Atlanta

Despite Democrat opposition, the Georgia state Senate approved the bill 32 to 24. It now heads to the House of Representatives for further debate. 

In discussion about the bill on the Senate floor, Robertson pointed to the case of “Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, where former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson is accused of telling police not to arrest the men who were later convicted in Arbery’s murder.  She lost her re-election bid in 2020,” Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

Robertson and other state senators also noted the decision by District Attorney Deborah Gonzales of the Western Judicial Circuit to quit prosecuting drug possession cases.

“We have in a community near our state university where somebody who’s an elected D.A. says they can choose, not based on evidence, but based on how they feel and what their political leanings are as to who they will prosecute and who they will not and in order to solve this problem, there needs to be oversight,” said Robertson.

D & B Staff

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