State of Georgia

Open Meeting Minutes
Atlanta, GA

Friday, September 18, 2020

This meeting of the Investigative Panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission of the State of Georgia was held in-person in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Pope Langdale chaired the meeting and Ms. Kristen Bertsch served as Recording Secretary.

Investigative Panel Members Present:

Mr. Pope Langdale
Judge Stacey Hydrick
Mr. Bob Barr
Judge Verda Colvin
Mr. Warren Selby

JQC Staff Members Present:

Mr. Chuck Boring, Director
Ms. Courtney Veal, Deputy Director
Mr. Lance Alford, Chief Investigator
Ms. Kristen Bertsch, Executive Administrator
Ms. Kacey Baine, Intern

Chairman’s Comments:

Chairman Langdale called the meeting to order and determined that a quorum was present. Approval of the August open meeting minutes was made unanimously.

Director’s Reports:

The Investigative Panel brainstormed ideas on how to provide a more precise understanding of the cases to the Supreme Court. Director Boring suggested that Discipline by Consent Agreements be presented to the Hearing Panel in person. Thus, the Hearing Panel would have the opportunity to ask questions of JQC staff and/or the judge’s attorney. Additionally, a transcript would then be available for the Supreme Court to review. Also, Ms. Kacey Baine will work on compiling case law and opinions from around the country regarding disciplinary proceedings.

Director Boring acknowledged the need for Full and Preliminary Investigation cases to move forward more quickly and conferred with the Panel about the idea of beginning to invite more Judges to the in-person Panel meetings (amid pandemic concerns). The Panel agreed to discuss the issue further during the Closed Meeting, so as to address specific complaints.

Director Boring informed the Panel that the Judicial Qualifications Commission budget for Fiscal Year 2021 has been submitted and we are in good standing. However, Director Boring stated that he would like to request an increase in budgetary funds for Fiscal Year 2022. Chairman Langdale recommended pulling statistical data from other states to compare budgets. Director Boring had already done this research and displayed the data for the Panel to review.

Director Boring introduced two new members to the JQC – Kristen Bertsch (Executive Administrator) and Kacey Baine (legal intern).

Director Boring updated the Panel on the recent Judicial Council meeting. Honorable Chief Justice Melton plans to re-open Georgia Grand Jury Proceedings in October and then move to re-opening Jury Trials later this year. Director Boring expects this will cause an increase of complaints.