Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fulton DA: Judge Bedford and I are 'not fine'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard — who as you may recall was ordered handcuffed during a trial by Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford — says that contrary to a recent piece in the Fulton County Daily Report, he and the controversial judge haven't exactly made up and become best buds.

The DA's office sent the following message to the Superior Court today. (It was also posted in our comments:


October 30, 2008

Statement from District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr.

Refutes Claim of Reconciliation with Judge T. Jackson Bedford, Jr.

On Tuesday, October 28, 2008, The Daily Report published a story about the judicial election between Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford, Jr. and his opponent, Magistrate Judge Keisha Lance Bottoms. As part of the story, the newspaper report quoted Judge Bedford as saying, “Howard and I have shaken hands and have spoken since then. We’re fine.”

Since my election as District Attorney, I have refrained from participating in judicial elections involving incumbent judges. National Prosecution Standards require prosecutors to avoid any activities which may appear to conflict with the duties and responsibilities of the prosecutor’s office. My belief is that involvement in incumbent judge elections is one such activity. That position notwithstanding, the statement made by Judge Bedford demands clarification. We have not shaken hands and resolved this matter. We are not fine.

I regard Judge Bedford’s treatment of me and the office I represent during this incident as one of the most sinister, ignominious and personally painful actions that I have witnessed or experienced as a lawyer and as a person. I believe that illegally limiting or curtailing the freedom of any citizen violates one of the highest protections guaranteed by the Constitution and our system of laws.

I stand strongly behind the findings of independent special prosecutor Danny Craig, who, incidentally, is now a judge in the Augusta Judicial Circuit, that Judge Bedford’s actions constituted “an unlawful arrest”.

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