published Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Disbarred Georgia judge files lawsuit, claiming authorities tried to destroy his career

  • photo
    Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters listens during an April hearing where the state sought to remove him from bench for erratic behavior. The Tuesday Georgia Supreme Court's unanimous opinion barred Peters from ever holding another judicial office in Georgia.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A former Georgia judge who was disbarred for smoking pot has filed a lawsuit against his supervisor and the sheriff, claiming they conspired to destroy his career.

Anthony Peters, who filed the federal lawsuit in North Georgia, claims his boss, former Catoosa County Chief Magistrate Donald “Sonny” Caldwell, tried to demote him after learning he planned to run for chief magistrate, then devised a plan with Sheriff Phil Summers to interfere with his political ambitions.

In 2010, Caldwell told Peters that he was being changed to a 3-to-11 p.m. shift, typically the responsibility of an on-call judge, then ordered Peters to leave the courthouse and had him arrested when he refused, the lawsuit states.

“They conspired to put him out of office,” said Peters’ attorney James Satcher Jr.

After the incident, Peters wasn’t allowed to return to work.

In 2011, Peters was disbarred by the Georgia Supreme Court after an investigation by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission and a two-day hearing proved he had smoked pot, pointed a gun at himself in the courthouse and had other violations.

Summers wasn’t available for comment.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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