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The Caldwell file: Which judges knew what and when?

UPDATED April 22, 8:30 p.m.: A long-running and messy Peachtree City divorce case is at the heart of this week’s shocking resignation of Fayette County Superior Court Judge Johnnie Caldwell, The Citizen has learned from court filings and in interviews. All four judges in the Griffin Judicial Circuit have removed themselves from the case during the past eight months because of allegations of judicial impropriety — a case that raises the question of which judges knew what and when, and what they did with what they knew.

Caldwell in a television interview Wednesday admitted he had made improper comments to an undisclosed number of women, including female attorneys. He said his resignation was meant to “atone” for his actions.

The pending case is a divorce action between Gregory Ellis Crook and Janet Bell Crook first filed in Fayette Superior Court April 2, 2008. Since then all four judges have handled the case — first, Johnnie Caldwell, then Chief Judge Paschal English, then Tommy Hankinson, and finally Christopher Edwards. Edwards, English and Hankinson all filed orders of recusal April 19 and 20.

It was this past Monday, April 19, that an investigator from the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission arrived in the circuit to extract a resignation from Caldwell and a handwritten promise from the veteran judge and former district attorney that he would never again seek or hold any judicial office. That promise was delivered to Governor Sonny Perdue Monday, along with Caldwell’s renunciation of any future office. No mention was made of the improprieties to which Caldwell admitted two days later.

The lawyer representing the wife in the case made the allegation of impropriety against Caldwell. Peachtree City attorney Susan M. Brown filed a memo April 19, 2010 in support of her motion to disqualify the fourth judge to hear the case, Christopher Edwards.

“During the pendancy of this action in 2008 and 2009, Judge Caldwell exhibited extra-judicial conduct and made statements toward Susan Brown which are believed improper and which resulted in biased rulings against the defendant or no rulings on motions at all,” according to the memo on file with the Fayette County Superior Court Clerk’s office.

“Susan Brown informed Chief Judge Paschal A. English, Jr., of the improprieties and the prejudice demonstrated,” the memo said. “Judge Caldwell presumably voluntarily recused himself.”

The wording indicates that many months ago, Chief Judge English knew of some allegations against Caldwell, leading to the case being transferred from Caldwell to English.

In fact, a “transfer order” — signed by Caldwell — reassigning the case from Caldwell to English was filed with the court clerk’s office Aug. 12, 2009, eight months before the JQC action resulting in Caldwell’s forced resignation. In this instance, a junior judge signed the order that reassigned a contentious case to the senior judge.

Whether the allegations were reported as soon as English found about them to the JQC, which has the power to discipline or remove judges, is unknown to the public since most of the JQC’s activities are shielded from disclosure by the Georgia Constitution.

English himself, in an interview with The Citizen Tuesday, said he had no knowledge of the reason for the JQC investigator’s visit to the circuit and had no information about anything Caldwell may have done to warrant his resignation. “I can’t comment because I don’t know anything,” Chief Judge English told The Citizen Tuesday. “I've heard probably about 50 different rumors.”

“Thereafter, judges Hankinson and English presumably voluntarily recused themselves and the case was assigned to, and is pending before, Judge Edwards, the only remaining superior court judge in the Griffin Circuit,” the April 19 memo continued. “While there are significant allegations of previous impropriety, the most recent proceeding and entry of the April 12 order by Judge Edwards are the basis for this motion.”

The official orders of recusal of both English and Hankinson were filed only this week, on April 20. No record of their recusals prior to this week exists in the court files.

An Edwards’ order on April 2 apparently spurred Mrs. Crook and her attorney Susan Brown to seek Edwards’ recusal. “Judge Edwards informed counsel for both parties that he would not go forward with the trial of the Crook action unless both parties submitted a written waiver that the parties waive any and all issues they may have in relation to any allegations of judicial impropriety regarding Judge Caldwell,” the April 19 memo said. “Judge Edwards said that he has been made aware of ‘improprieties’ and would call the parties into court to discuss the waiver issue.”

Mrs. Crook’s lawyer refused that waiver at the April 12 hearing before Edwards. That led to the following, reproduced exactly as presented in the official court papers:

“Counsel for defendant asked Judge Edwards for time to seek independent legal counsel on the impropriety and waiver issues. At or around that time Judge English entered the court room, asked to speak with Judge Caldwell [sic], and the judges had a meeting in chambers which could be overheard in the courtroom.

“Upon his return, Judge Caldwell’s [sic] demeanor had visibly changed toward defendant’s counsel’s request. Judge Edwards requested that the parties hand write an order and indicated that the parties would have one week to comply with parts of the order,” the April 19 defense memo said.

The order required the defendant to return several thousand dollars to her husband.

[Editor’s note: The memo’s mention of Caldwell as being in the courtroom is unexplained and may be a typographic error. The memo most likely means “Edwards” where it reads “Caldwell.”]

The defense said they agreed to Edwards’ subsequent order under duress, and accused Edwards of bias in the matter. “Judge Edwards’ impartiality might reasonably be questioned based upon the improprieties alleged in and tainting this action before Judges Caldwell and English,” the April 19 memo said.

Two days later, Judge Edwards recused himself on his own motion. “As mentioned in the defendant’s April 19 motion to recuse, this judge promised at hearings of April 2, 2010 and 12, 2010 [sic] to recuse himself if either of two events occurred: first, if either party, after due consideration with advice of counsel, decided to file any motion that raised the issue of alleged misconduct of another judge within the circuit; or, second, if all counsel and parties, after careful study, wished to waive the allegations of another judge’s alleged judicial misconduct as an issue in this divorce case only,” the April 21 order said.

“Without commenting on any other alleged fact or issue in the April 19 motion to recuse, the motion plainly alleges misconduct of another judge within this circuit, so no decision can be made in this case by a judge of this circuit,” Edwards wrote in his order.

In other words, Edwards was telling both parties that an allegation of judicial misconduct made by either party about one judge in the circuit would require Edwards as a matter of judicial ethics to recuse himself from the case. Since he was the last judge standing in the circuit not already recused, that meant the case would have to be postponed and a judge from outside the circuit would have to be brought in to start over.

The recusal removed the fourth and final superior court judge in the circuit from the 2-year-old divorce case. A visiting judge from another circuit now must be assigned to sort out the issues remaining in a messy divorce case that has already cost the career of one veteran superior court judge.

In the meantime, these questions remain:

1. When a junior judge reassigned a case to the chief judge of the circuit, did Chief Judge English inquire or discover why Caldwell was removing himself from the case?

2. If the chief judge of the circuit knew of allegations of impropriety by a fellow judge, what did Judge English do with that knowledge? The transfer of the case took place eight months ago.

3. What did Judge Hankinson know and when?

4. And was it Judge Edwards who blew the whistle to the JQC about the allegations of impropriety by his fellow judge?

We hope to answer those and other questions about this case in the coming days.

— Cal Beverly contributed to this story.

Below are earlier versions of this story.

UPDATE 6 p.m. Wednesday:

Fayette County Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr. admitted on television tonight to unprofessional conduct in making inappropriate comments to female attorneys. He also said it was the reason he agreed to resign from the bench suddenly on Monday, following a request from the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

UPDATE 6 p.m. Wednesday:

Fayette County Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr. admitted on television tonight to unprofessional conduct in making inappropriate comments to female attorneys. He also said it was the reason he agreed to resign from the bench suddenly on Monday, following a request from the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

In an interview with WSB Channel 2, Caldwell said he never let a personal relationship with anyone influence a decision, and WSB reporter Mark Winne said the judge was speaking out because rumors of the events leading to his resignation were getting out of hand.

Caldwell said the decision to tender his resignation "was gut-wrenching. But it was part of what I was requested to do." He also suggested it was a way to "make amends" for his inappropriate language.

In a handwritten note provided to The Citizen by the governor's office, Caldwell agreed to "never seek or accept judicial office again." The note was labeled at the top as being a "consent order." The note was published online at

The detail is significant because it could indicate Caldwell's attempt to stave off a ruling by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, which is confirmed to have interviewed several people in Fayette County yesterday regarding a formal complaint lodged against Caldwell.

The JQC will not release any details about the alleged complaint, nor will it confirm an investigation is ongoing. However, the JQC previously has dropped formal investigations in exchange for judges agreeing in writing to never seek judicial office again.

UPDATE 1 p.m. Wednesday:

Monday's resignation of Fayette County Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr. was accompanied by an unusual handwritten note on his office letterhead.

In that note, Caldwell agreed to "never seek or accept judicial office again." The note was labeled at the top as being a "consent order." The note was published online at

The detail is significant because it could indicate Caldwell's attempt to stave off a ruling by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, which is confirmed to have interviewed several people in Fayette County yesterday regarding a formal complaint lodged against Caldwell.

The JQC will not release any details about the alleged complaint, nor will it confirm an investigation is ongoing. However, the JQC previously has dropped formal investigations in exchange for judges agreeing in writing to never seek judicial office again.

Despite Caldwell's resignation, the JQC may still seek redress in the future, The Citizen was told today.

Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said a JQC investigator told him the agency does not have an open investigation into any complaint against Caldwell.

Caldwell's resignation Monday caught everyone by surprise in the Fayette County legal community.

Ballard said a JQC investigator asked him some questions yesterday but the investigator also told him the agency "does not have an open investigation" into the judge

UPDATE 9 a.m. Wednesday: While Monday's resignation of Fayette County Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr. caught everyone by surprise, the Judicial Qualifications Commission does not have an open investigation into the judge, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said this morning.

Ballard said a JQC investigator asked him some questions yesterday but the investigator also told him the agency "does not have an open investigation" into the judge. The DA said he was unsure what the investigation might have been about.

"I really don't know what they're saying Judge Caldwell did," Ballard said, adding that Caldwell's resignation was "a great loss" to the legal community at large.

Despite the lack of an open JQC investigation on Caldwell, his resignation does not preclude action being taken by the commission at a later date, The Citizen has learned.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission, among other duties, is charged with investigating formal written complaints of judges who are accused of violating judicial canons or state law. JQC officials refused to comment on the matter when contacted Tuesday afternoon.

Most of the JQC's work is shrouded in secrecy, but if the agency formally "charges" Caldwell with any violations, that document would be made public, as well as any response Caldwell might have.

The website reported yesterday that Caldwell resigned under pressure from a state judicial commission investigation. That same report claimed, the veteran judge signed a handwritten pledge to the JQC never to seek elective judicial office again. The Citizen has not been able to independently confirm Caldwell has taken such an action.

Such a document, if it existed, would not be available to the public, according to JQC director Cheryl Fisher Custer.

Meanwhile, a decision has been made for Fayette's other three judges to absorb Caldwell's criminal caseload, but a senior judge will be called upon in several weeks to assume his civil caseload, The Citizen has learned. Several courthouse officials said they believe Caldwell's resignation was based in large part on his father, whose health has declined significantly in recent weeks.

"The handwritten document Caldwell presented the JQC reads in black ink: 'I hereby agree to never seek or accept judicial office again.' In blue ink is the notation 'Accepted' followed by the signature of Richard Hyde. Richard Hyde is an investigator for the JQC. The document is dated April 19," said in a report by publisher Walter Geiger posted Tuesday night. The site is the online version of the Barnesville Herald-Gazette.

According to the JQC website, the commission was formed in 1972 "to conduct investigations and hearings with respect to complaints of ethical misconduct by Georgia judges and is also authorized to issue Advisory Opinions regarding appropriate judicial conduct." The commission comprises two superior court judges, three lawyers and two at-large private citizens. The JQC has the power, after investigation, to recommend a judicial official be censured, suspended, removed or retired, subject to review by the Ga. Supreme Court.

District Attorney Scott Ballard, who lives in Fayette, confirmed to the Griffin Daily News that a JQC investigator had spoken to him Tuesday concerning Caldwell.

“'I will say that I had a conversation with an investigator from the Judicial Qualifications Commission, but he didn’t reveal any aspect of an investigation involving Judge Caldwell,' Ballard said. 'I couldn’t offer him any information about Judge Caldwell because I don’t know of anything wrong he’s done,'” Ballard told the Griffin Daily News.

Ballard otherwise said he knew nothing about what the JQC was looking into. When asked if the investigator inquired about Caldwell's personal life, Ballard said, "I would rather not say," the Griffin Daily News reported Tuesday night.

Monday’s resignation by Caldwell has taken the local legal community completely by surprise.

Caldwell is known for his lengthy prison sentences and sometimes brusque courtroom demeanor.

Caldwell, 63, tendered his handwritten resignation to Gov. Sonny Perdue Monday. This summer would have marked his 15th year on the bench.

In his resignation letter, Caldwell said he wished the opportunity to spend time with his grandchildren “and maybe practice law.”

Although Gov. Perdue may elect to appoint someone to fill the remainder of Caldwell’s term, he may also choose to allow the seat to remain vacant until the November election, according to a Perdue spokesman.

Caldwell was district attorney when he was first appointed as superior court judge July 27, 1995 by then-Gov. Zell Miller. Since then he has won reelection to remain in his seat; his campaigns were undoubtedly buttressed by the lengthy prison sentences he issued from felony drug violations to far more serious crimes.

Caldwell faced stiff opposition in his reelection campaigns of 2000 and 2004, both times from attorney John Mrosek of Peachtree City.

In 2008, Caldwell was unopposed for reelection.

While Caldwell’s stiff sentences will be missed by many in the legal community, there are undoubtedly a few defense attorneys who will be happy to see him leave the bench.

Prior to being appointed judge, Caldwell served as district attorney, the circuit’s top prosecutor. While he was defeated in an election for district attorney by now-State Court Judge Fletcher Sams, Caldwell regained the seat four years later by defeating Sams in a rematch.

In his 14 years as district attorney, Caldwell boasted of the highest conviction rate in the state of Georgia.

Before entering the public arena as district attorney, Caldwell was in private practice, representing clients in civil and criminal cases from his home base of Thomaston in Upson County.

Caldwell received his law degree from Mercer University and his undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia, where he also played on the football team.

Remaining judges in the Griffin Judicial Circuit are Chief Judge Paschal English of Thomaston, Judge Tommy Hankinson of Thomaston and Judge Christopher Edwards of Brooks, in Fayette County. The circuit comprises the counties of Upson, Pike, Spalding and Fayette.

Edwards' seat is the only one up for re-election this November.

Additional reporting on updates by Cal Beverly



I'm truly sorry to see you go. I wish you well in whatever you decide to do.

I am happy to see this man go he is as crooked as all get out. i remember back in November while he was the Judge on a trial he was taking narocotis on the bench reason why I know this is because he just had klnee surgery. Well during the trial Judge Caldwell would not let the witness for the defense to testify, all he wanted to do was hear the proscution side. The man he sent to prison did not deserve to go, the ones who accused him lied and not only that they were told what to say. These 2 girls did not identify the right scars on this man. The defendant was denied a lied dectector test, a DNA test and a psycologocal test. So where is the justice. Mr. Caldwell sentence this man to 2 life terms base on hear say. It show that the oldest girl had sex but it didn't say with who but the youngest never had sex. So I do know of things about Mr.Caldwell I just wish the JQC would ask me.These 2 girls were never left alone with this man I know because I was this man caregiver.

For those of you who might not know why the Judge agreed to never run for the judiciary again, and it is hoped that he will have no further trouble for doing that, the above complaint is the reason such an agreement was accepted by the judging committee!

It is the same reason that Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and many congressmen, Senators m and corporate Chief Executive officers are allowed to fade away---
fewer people will be hurt this way and the expense of a trial, if one is needed, wouldn't be worth the effort. Probably wouldn't be found guilty anyway.

The judges resignation will indicate to other judges that will be their fate if they find themselves in a position of being required to not show up anymore.

We only jail or kill those who we are afraid of harming us again.
It has always been so and always will be.

Chances are the judge was only being fallible but didn't want to go through all of the details in public that would make other judges look badly.

I know for a fact that this man is crooked why would this man let 2 girls lied under oath another thing I didn't think that investagators were allowed to write statesments and let the ones accusing rewrite it and also why didn't the girls identift the scars this man had on him they just name one. They said this man has scars between both thumbs and he doesn't. You see this man was convicted before he went to trial, the detectives wanted him to sign stated that he did this and he didn't. The girls has accussed other men of doing the same thing but this man was the only one that went to trial. And also why was the plantiff's lawyer allowed in the same room as the juiors during the deliberation and caldwell allowed it. So Caldwell and Mr. English is crooked in my books, and one last thing you don't take narcotics on the bench during a trial and caldwell is the 5th cousin to the girl's step-mother.

His brand of justice will be missed!

So glad this man is stepping down, he is such slime ball! He is the stereotypical judge that places more importance on personal connections on his rulings than using the LAW as the basis for them! This district should be leaping for joy that he is gone!!! Hmmmm wonder why he stepped down considering he was just elected??? Could there be a skeleton here Johnnie????

I would be interested in your depth of knowledge on this subject.

I am not at liberty to discuss the dirt I know on this "man", but the people of this district are MUCH better off without him!

The Wedge's picture

[quote=peachykeen]I am not at liberty to discuss the dirt I know on this "man", but the people of this district are MUCH better off without him![/quote]

I do not know anything about this man other than the news writeup above. Yet now I am supposed to consider this person to be bad based upon your anonymous, uncredited, unverified, gutter snipe remarks? Why would I assume that you know anything about this person at all? Provide details and facts or keep the insinuation of criminality and corruption to yourself. It is a bit ridiculous. Could I insinuate that you are a felon and state that I am not at liberty to discuss it?

I am proud to say I know this man. The "bench" and the good people of this district are losing a defender of the truth and a fair punisher of the unjust. I don't know what the other commentator (Peachykeen) thinks he or she knows about Judge Caldwell, but its persons such as this who damage a reputation when knowing nothing. What I KNOW about this man is that he is a Christian and strives to be an example as such. Just as surely as you insinuate there may be skeletons or dirt in Judge Caldwell's life, you have caused me to think there MUST be skeletons in yours. The dirt I see in you is obvious in the manner in which you speak of someone that you do not know.

I and my family only wish for the Judge the very best. He deserves it - much like what the many criminals deserve who he has so boldly put where they deserve to be.

What we know is that he lost one election in a couple three decades of service. OK, so far so good.

We also know he abruptly resigned; less than the normal time span a politician would do. Why? What was he saving? If the deal involved a promise not to run again for office, like RW said, that there sounds suspicious.

The whole thing stinks and we'll probably never see the light of day.

The people who received long sentences got what they deserved. But, Caldwell's berating of attorneys and other staff in court was completely out of line. A Christian? You reap what you sow, and he got what he deserved.

Why would the Judicial Qualifications Committee ask for him to sign a document stating he will never seek public office again? It must be because he is a "defender of the truth". Also, I have done nothing to damage this yahoo's reputation....HE DID THAT ALL BY HIMSELF.

You certainly have an interesting choice of words for your topic title. It sounds like you might know something. Fess up Wedge.
Perhaps the newer Citizen article has revealed a darker side of the judge for you.

then I agree with others, it shouldn't be brought up here. Totally uncalled for.

i believe all the dirt should be brought up on this judge believe me i know a couple of things like taking narcotics during a trial he was residing on. the jqc knows about this.

I don't call Nov 2008 "just elected"---but maybe since you just signed on, perhaps you bring some new definitions to this blog. And how about some examples of the "personal connections" you mention--if you're gonna accuse, you should be prepared to back it up.

He had many more months yet to serve, compared to the ones he has already served. Please read the new article on the judge, maybe your opinion will change with some of the new facts.

I know 2 things on him so peechykeen if it's what I think it is I agree the slimeball is out

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Unlike you, I won my 2 lawsuits in front of him. 1 by jury, 1 by the judge. Get over it witchy woman. He was defintely tough on miscreants.

Boning the clerk or even your assistant is not a crime if she/he is willing. I have no knowledge of that and Bud Ballard was definitely not involved. Just saying that it is not a crime.

I did hear he has agreed not to seek elected office again for some unknown reason. I believe I heard that on Channel 2 - WSB. What does that tell us?

Live free or die!

Robert W. Morgan....why did you say this?

"Boning the clerk or even your assistant is not a crime if she/he is willing. I have no knowledge of that and Bud Ballard was definitely not involved. Just saying that it is not a crime."

Do I need to even reply? I think your post says it all. You are certainly a classy guy. Nice Wolfman Jack photo.

Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission was at courthouses in the circuit today with regard to an investigation. Additionally, Caldwell has signed an agreement with the JQC to never seek office again.

Peachykeen I am totally with you on this one. This man is a slime ball and there are plenty of women out there that can vouch for this. Robert I am also with you on this. Judge (or rather scumbag) Johnnie Caldwell Jr IS a typical Judge. He drinks while he works and is unable to make an ethical decision, he sleeps with any woman that is just as dirty as him and he is the scum of the Judicial System. Also I just signed up for this so I can post my response. The dirt that I know is truthful. Unfortunately I grew up in one of the towns that he ruled in and my family knows about him and all of the times he has tried to force himself on women. As we all know word travels fast in a small town and 99% of the time it's the truth. He gets what he deserves. A CHRISTIAN. Thats a joke. A man who goes out to bars, gets slap drunk, feels up on women and DRIVES home. Then the next day goes into the courtroom still hung over and convicts a person based on personal feelings and personal gratification instead of being based on the law. Everyone who is defending this man is either one of his drinking buddies or is one who has never sat in a courtroom while he ruled. When he is in a courtroom, there is no law,"only Johnnie's Law". Or you are sleeping with him . Just because someone post snipe remarks about this man doesn't mean they might be a criminal or they might have skeletons in their closet. They are just good citizens who are seeing the truth finally come out. This man is an alumni of Mercer University, WOW I am a current student there and ashamed to associate Johnnie Caldwell Jr and Mercer in the same sentence.

Am I losing my mind or was the first article on this subject in this paper much different in the first half of it?

Judge the man by what he does in the courtroom. I have spent time in his court watching more than a few cases and he hands out stiff sentences to repeat drug offenders and violent criminals. I applaud him for that.

Scott Ballard knows why, but he ain't telling.

Judging from the "lawyerly" answers District Attorney Scott Ballard was giving the Griffin Daily News tonight, this sudden resignation had to do with the JQC investigating Johnnie Caldwell's personal conduct (as opposed to legal/judicial malpractice).

The paper notes that the JQC does not have the authority to investigate judges no longer on the bench.

Steve Brown's picture

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the JQC has had to push a local judge out of office. Regarding Caldwell, this comes as no surprise to me. Luckily for the offending parties, the JQC allows judges to eek out the back door instead of facing the music which is what ought to happen.

Where did your comment go????

Sometimes the truth hurts!

What happen to freedom of speech?

On a privately owned website? Learn about your Bill of Rights....Freedom of Speech certainly doesn't apply here.

Maybe your post was in jest.

The Wedge's picture

I remember it. The item that I remember the most clearly is that this Mercer attending person does not like that this judge was an alumnus. Feel free to embrace these other notables from your university-Nancy Grace and Nathan Deal. Embrace them and feel alumni love

Vindication- who removed your comment?

If a public figure resigns under pressure from an investigative body, it's the publics right to understand what prompted the resignation.
This was a judge that affected the lives of many people over the 15 years he sat on the bench.
He obviously violated the public trust in some manner that was serious enough for him to both resign and agree to never seek public office again.
The public needs to know what that violation was.
I'm sure he hasn't lost his very lucrative retirement benefits, so in effect, he still remains on "OUR" payroll. If his violation of public trust warrents, maybe he should be stripped of those benefits as well.

to seek "Public" office again--it was "Judicial office. "investigative body"?---well, maybe sometimes.

Lets get TMZ to investigate it. He may and I say may be a rat like most judges and lawyers. Only out to pad the pocket.

This is a great day for Fayette County and the district in general. This comes as no surprise to me. It's obvious there was specific wrongdoing on his part and I know for a fact there were other instances. This is a man concerned more with the politics of his position than the law he claims to enforce. I for one view this as the first in what needs to be a string of victories in the Fayette Judicial System. Only with this oversight can we really see the change that needs to take place!

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

--Edmund Burke

I would like to know why you think he was more concerned with Politics than the law...As someone who has seen the sentences handed out by the Circuit judges here, JLC was the one that was the most strict. You need to do your homework before you start posting things...Now, I do believe that some decisions that he made civilly weren't the most honest, but not in criminal court. The Fayette Judicial system needs more than the removal of this judge to be rehabilitated. For beginners, people over there need to know when ya break the law there are consequences...

Caldwell was a real piece of work in the courtroom. He was rude, curt, and threatening to many people who came before him. And I'm not talking about hardcore felons here, but regular people who had to see him for small infractions. This guy had a severe God complex. I'm surprised he didn't wear a powdered wig.

I never blog but I could not be silent on this issue. If you have EVER been in his courtroom, you would not recognize the man that gave an interview today with Channel 2!!! What a performance!! So he admits to "inappropriate language" to female attorneys (PLURAL, not just one), that must be some language to force you off the bench. He abuses his position and then tries to lead the public to believe it didn't affect his rulings on the bench. One word...DENIAL!!!

We're supposed to believe his interview...he already contradicted himself in the interview. He said he resigned to "make amends" but his resignation letter to the Governor stated he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren and maybe practice law. So GLAD he is GONE!!!

The guy is a's clear--to me at least--that he resigned to avoid the investigation or the ruling of the investigation that the JQC was involved in. And then he's going to come out and tell everything today? Doubtful--he escaped ruling on the investigation and now he's simply doing an image overhaul. Put the guy under oath and see if he fesses up...doubtful again...

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

--Edmund Burke

I am shocked to hear of this. As a young female lawyer, Judge Caldwell gave me my first break by hiring me as the law clerk for the circuit. He always behaved appropriately whenever I was around him, both on and off the bench. I don't think it was really a secret that he and I had diametrically opposed political views. I got the message right away that the circuit was very conservative whereas I am very liberal. One time, he asked me to write a decision for him. After doing my research, from what I could tell, it basically came down to a matter of judicial discretion. I wrote the opinion two different ways and told him there was support for either one. Of course he chose to sign off on the opinion I would not have chosen myself. But hey, he was the judge so it was his prerogative after all. I will say that contrary to popular opinion, all the judges of the circuit are concerned with following the law. Think of it this way, they don't want to be overturned by a higher court. They might not always agree with it, and they certainly try to find law to support their views when they feel strongly about something, but in the end they will follow clear precedent no matter what. But I digress. I don't know what happened that led to the resignation. I've been away from the area for several years. I know things like this happen everywhere to people you'd never suspect to be involved in such a scandal. I also know I wasn't around Judge Caldwell in his office very much since he stayed in Thomaston and I was usually in Fayetteville. Still, I am very shocked. I wish him, his family, and his staff well. No one stops to think, when something like this happens, about how it will affect the secretaries, court reporters, etc.

highflyer2's picture

In my 56 years, I have seen and driven on both sides of the tracks. One thing you have to admit about the bad know from the start where they are coming from and what to expect. I think what surprises all of us is when the "God like" people on the good side of the tracks turn out to be just another bad guy. Double standards? You figure it out.
I have learned to live my life by the old saying..."Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer".

Caldwell is a "bad guy"? And upon what evidence may I ask, have you made such a determination?

Winning your 2 cases doesn't determine if this guy is good or bad...!!

as a society about comments that others make. Just my take...folks need to get thicker skin.

Any ideas as to what names might be on the governor's short list to appoint to this position?

Another question is whether John Mrosek will be running in November (Could be unopposed.)


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