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 is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing ...

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