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NAACP urges new lawyers for 200+ defendants in Judge English affair

State and local officials for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have been asked to investigate whether multiple defendants had their legal rights jeopardized because of a sexual affair that took place between now-retired Superior Court Judge Paschal A. English Jr. and Public Defender Attorney Kim Cornwell.

In a news release, Fayette NAACP President John E. Jones said an independent attorney should review each of the more than 200 criminal defendants who were represented by Cornwell in front of Judge English after the couple’s sexual affair was documented Oct. 13, 2008 when a sheriff’s deputy spied them in the midst of a sexual act inside a parked car in a subdivision on the outskirts of Fayetteville.

All 220-plus cases were reviewed in a joint investigation between the offices of Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard and county Public Defender Joe Saia. Ballard and Saia said in a news conference last month said they turned up no improprieties; however both English and Cornwell declined to cooperate with the investigation.

“Each of the individual defendants, regardless of color, need to be notified of their rights to have their cases reviewed by independent legal counsel,” Jones said. “We do not believe the public defender’s office is capable of this task as they are tainted in this entire affair.”

The investigation into the affair was ordered by Fayette Superior Court Judge Christopher C. Edwards, who told Ballard and Saia he wanted the results presented to another superior court judge so he would not be involved in the process.

The investigation determined that English was “steering” Cornwell’s cases to his court.

The remaining results of the investigation, however, have left many questions unanswered, according to local NAACP President Jones.

“Was she slighting her clients to keep personal favor with the judge? When did the relationship begin and how many defendants did she actually represent before Judge English while simultaneously carrying on an affair with him?” Jones said. “None of these questions have been answered by Mr. Ballard’s investigation.”

Jones also chides the public defender’s office for failing to act on an anonymous letter filed more than a year ago that claimed Cornwell was having an affair with English. He was also critical of the fact that county law enforcement officials including the sheriff’s department “were aware of the English/Cornwell sexual relationship and his information was apparently kept secret from the public for almost two years.”

English resigned Friday, April 23, citing a need for him and his family “to concentrate on a different direction in our lives.” That resignation was the second stunning courthouse development of that week, which began with Monday’s surprise resignation of Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr., who later publicly admitted to making inappropriate remarks to female attorneys.

English was subpoenaed to testify several weeks ago in a Fayette County divorce case but he will be allowed to meet that obligation at a later date, according to an informal ruling from visiting senior Superior Court Judge G. Grant Brantley. Attorneys representing the wife in the divorce proceedings want English’s testimony to support their contention that all the previous rulings in the case were unfair and should be thrown out.



Cyclist's picture

is going to be most troubling as claims like this gain traction. Shame on English and Cronwell.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Just gives the saying "Going for a ride in the car" a whole new meaning!

Cyclist's picture

The whole darn thing is just so "juvenile" and certainly not the behavior of a setting judge. I don't care how many episodes of the "Survivor" he was on.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

You are correct about CRONWELL and A SETTING JUDGE! There was an English ruler named CROMWELL, but not CORNWELL, or CRONWELL.
The judge probably was SETTING on egg shells what with his paramour right there most days, parading.
Reminds me of the Baseball players who corked their bats then took steroids! Also, if it wasn't for needles, pro football players couldn't even play most of the time!
Not as bad as Wall Street however, Banks, or the Financial Houses!
Then there is the bad Peanut Butter!

Cyclist's picture

Whatever.............You still owe me a coffee of my choice at the next bloggers coffee social next month.

And too all the other bloggers out there it should be "sitting" not "setting" judge and the attorney's last name is "Cornwell".

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

I was just kidding (good place to ride judge) about spelling. Regrettably that is not stressed anymore.
As to a coffee, I feel the same way about that as I do Pseudo names. What with the recession, politics, crooks, etc., I feel none of us would say squat, except personal insults, if we all knew each other. Even a few doing coffee and using real names restricts the conversation as you can see.
Why do you think we have secret voting?
And why do we protect the poll areas?
I saw a couple of guys with sticks and uniform in the news at a poll---people were raising cane about that on TV.
If we could just get the money out of it now and only have 60 days to run, then we might improve things.

I've been to 2 of those and haven't heard one "personal insult" yet. Try it, you just might like it! I think you will find us a group of serious, open-minded, patriotic citizens, with a sense of humour.

Of course you're right and I just can't imagine trying to explain that to either Mrs Cy or Frau Gym.

NUK_1's picture

They got this one completely right and good for them to keep the fire burning on this because Ballard and others really disgraced themselves, along with the FCSO for that matter. There is so much incompetence and dishonesty involved in this mess and it's far from over. Scooty Ballard and and the ludicrous "investigator" who apparently are so delusional that they hear voices and not what was actually said ON TAPE have yet begun to pay the price.

Will all other races be represented in this suit by the NAACP and just who and where will the defenders come from?
Would the fact that the other judge, Caldwell, I think, flirting with other lawyers have any bearing on his cases?
I see no way out of this catastrophe except to release all the misdemeanors and low degree stuff and retry just the felonies.
Hate for it to be in the news forever but maybe they can do it in another city.
Was the previous Sheriff knowledgeable of the car sex? Will he have to testify? Will all of the lawyers in either court have to testify? Clerks?

<cite>“Each of the individual defendants, regardless of color, need to be notified of their rights to have their cases reviewed by independent legal counsel,” Jones said. “We do not believe the public defender’s office is capable of this task as they are tainted in this entire affair.”</cite>

The NAACP is seeking 'justice'. It appears that there is no or little trust of the current 'investigators' or local 'justice'.

AnonRegisteredVoter's picture

I bet they all plea the 5th. This needs to stay in the news until someone does something about it. Ballard isn't going to do anything or his nice conviction rate will plummet. Vote his butt out when the time comes! Clean house. Maybe English, Caldwell, Ballard and his investigator can all start a nice cozy powerhouse law firm where the sexual harassment of clients and underlings is nothing frowned upon. I personally think all should be disbarred for jeopardizing so many cases. We all have a constitutional right to a fair trial and these people are supposed to be overseeing that and they not only failed, they partook in denying that right to hundreds of people. Shame on them all as they have disgraced our judicial system.

You would think they all should be disbarred but the system is so corrupt from top to bottom it won't happen unless there is major pressure. It is shameful and one day they will all have to answer for their wrong doing, if not in this life, in the next. The damage that has been done must be repaired according to Christian principles but obviously Ballard is a perfect example of a phony Christian that uses it for political purposes rather than conviction. The guy can't even figure out what religion he belongs to and that doesn't appear to be a person of any true conviction. The only conviction he has demonstrated is what benefits him.

For the first time I agree with the NAACP and hope they will push it. The state doesn't seem to give about the people this may have affected....this may need to become a Federal issue to get something done outside of this corrupt, everyone's sleeping in everyone's bed, out for myself state. What a racket!

There should be no reason for this to have been swept under the rug the way Ballard did and say it was over...just because he wanted it to be. Furthermore, why hasn't the governor stepped in? Clearly nothing is going to happen unless someone pushes it and this gets national attention.

"The governoir step in?"
He is and has been useless. Prayed for water, that's all. Turned GA into a fishin hole somewhere. Treated one whale at the aquarium. He died.

ROFL....ha ha ha.....thanks for the laugh....I needed that.

There really aren't to many politicians on any level that are worth anything. Sorry mess this country has turned into.

Seems to me that the NAACP is out of their lane. If the results of the investigation ordered by Judge Edwards have been accepted without question, then what is the legal basis for further or another investigation?

There has never been a report that the results of the investigation were accepted by Judge Edwards or any other party. It was clear that two things were supposed to happen. First, they were to determine if an actual relationship existed and if it did then the parties represented by these two had to be addressed. The second part never happened. Ballard saying there was no bias is just silly...the fact that the relationship did exist is a clear conflict of interest. The only one who benefited from that decision is the DA's office and Public Defenders office.

about this corruption that goes on here. Nothing ever gets done because it gets swept under the rug time and again. Ballard isn't going to do anything about it just as he has done in the past. What a racket! Someone said recently let's wait for the truth yet we have been waiting for sometime now...

These kinds of things are NEVER pushed nor resolved by local authorities. They always get whomped on by local other parties!
It has to be an expert from out of town to do it!
An expert is most anyone ten miles from home with a briefcase!

Also, much, much time is allowed to lapse before any action which helps with the cooling off. Besides there is to be yet a lot of negotiating between the guilty ones lawyers and who ever finally prosecutes this. There will be no trial. There may be a lot of Civil Suits (remember OJ?)

But all of that is 2-3 years away. Pensions and all have to be established!

By the way what is flitecrew's "right on?" You said your right on!

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