Why I am Running

Why I’m running:

I am running because Chatham County deserves a Recorder’s Court judge who is ethical, experienced, efficient, and effective.

Ethical:

When I was sworn into the Georgia Court of Appeal I noticed a Latin phrase inscribed above the bench, “Fiat Justutua Ruat Caelum;” which translates, “Let justice be done though the heavens may fall.”

This phrase has been influential in my career because I agree that the law should be followed in every case, without exception. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly regardless of their background, race, age, beliefs, and social status.

Experienced:

I have a unique and well-rounded understanding of criminal law because of my work experience in criminal cases, beginning with my first internship while still in law school, all the way to my current position.

I have been a part of many diverse cases and I have had the ability to handle every aspect of criminal cases; from the initial overview, to Grand Jury, to Motions and Trials, and even through the appeal process.

My experience with the different roles and processes in a criminal case has helped to prepare me for the Recorders Court. I feel confident that I am poised and ready to be an asset to this court as soon as I would begin.

Efficient:

When I first began working at the Chatham County Court House, someone from another office stopped me in the hallway and asked, “Why are you always in such a rush?” I responded, “I’m not rushing. This is just the pace I work.”

I work efficiently by understanding the task at hand, focusing on the purpose of the task, staying organized, and constantly looking for ways to improve.

Efficiency is important to me because as a civil servant when I hear the saying, “Time is money,” I remember that in my profession, “Time is the tax payer’s money.”

My goal as a Recorders Court Judge will be to reduce the amount of time citizens, both victims and defendants, are required to be in the courtroom. I will work with prosecutors and public defenders to make all Recorders Court cases more efficient by reducing unnecessary court appearances.

Effective:

In the criminal justice system options are important and no options should be disregarded.

For Example some believe that prison sentencing should be reserved for the most heinous offences, or completely done away with all together. My experience has led me to a different conclusion.

I have argued during bond hearings that someone struggling with drug addiction should not be released on bond for the time being, only to have defense counsel state that no one should go to jail for having an addiction. Sadly, many times after this person struggling with drug addiction was released on bond I have found their obituary come across my desk.

I in no way believe that addiction is a crime that deserves prison. However, I know from experience that in some cases a little jail time can be necessary to save lives. And often, it is the threat of prison that can help motivate someone to change his or her life for the better.

I do not believe in eliminating any options when it comes to my cases; but I also do not believe prison is the only answer. Creativity and communication with all involved will always led to the best results.

Every case is different, every victim is different, and every defendant is different.

I have used a variety of treatment options to help defendants struggling with drug addiction. I often end plea-offer emails with, “If you can think of anything different, please let me know. I’m always interested in new, creative ways to close our cases.”

Also, in the court room I have bared witness to the mental health crisis facing the Chatham County community. I often work with treatment providers, judges, and opposing counsel to formulate unique plans for the well-being for the defendant and the safety of the community

The ever-changing world of criminal justice requires an experienced and creative Judge to make sure the system is effective and has a positive impact on the community. I have what it takes. All I need is your vote.