published Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Removal of judge a mystery

by Andy Johns

RINGGOLD, Ga. — A Catoosa County magistrate judge who filed a complaint about a fellow judge and feared retaliation was removed from the courthouse by law enforcement personnel Wednesday and no one would say why.

Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, according to Catoosa County Commission Chairman Keith Greene. Mr. Greene said he could not discuss why Judge Peters was taken into custody because it was a personnel matter.

Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers did not answer calls or return messages Wednesday.

Witnesses said more than a dozen cars from Ringgold police, the Georgia State Patrol and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office swarmed the courthouse just before 3 p.m.

About 7 p.m. Wednesday a clerk at the Catoosa County Jail said Judge Peters was not in the jail but would not show the booking log to reveal whether he had been booked or released on bond.

Ringgold police, the Georgia State Patrol, jailers and staff at the magistrate’s and sheriff’s offices declined to comment and deferred to the sheriff. A spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said he did not know anything about the arrest.

A month earlier, Judge Peters had filed a complaint against Chief Magistrate Sonny Caldwell and written that he feared a backlash.

A copy of a complaint to the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press is signed by Judge Peters and dated May 14. Attempts to reach the commission after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The complaint raises questions of campaign finances and misuse of county time and property.

“I’m scared he will retaliate against me,” Mr. Peters wrote in the report.

Judge Peters had just lost his job as Ringgold city judge on Monday night, according to Ringgold Mayor Joe Barger. The mayor said officials were “told some things” on Monday and the council voted unanimously to relieve Judge Peters from the post immediately.

Mr. Barger would not say why the city took action, and he did not want to discuss the reasons why Mr. Peters “had changed.”

“I don’t know what happened but the past memories I have of him are very honorable,” the mayor said.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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enufisenuf said...

Cotoosa "justice" sure has it's own agenda and Buereau of cover up. If he is innocent untill proven guilty (a crock of Boston baked bull by todays actions of law enforcement and justice departments across the country) I will expect to see his mug on the front page of the busted tabloid next week. Still won't by the junk mag, just want to see how equal their justice will be. OOPs, never mind, we al saw the railroading of Tamnya Craft. Catoosa needs a serious house cleaning ACROSS THE BOARD. Out with the graft and corruption, in with honesty and fairness.

Come on Cheifee or Moyor, have the guts to speak up, with truth, not like your talking to your grand kid.

June 17, 2010 at 5:12 a.m.
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