Monroe County Probate Judge Karen Pitman has tendered her resignation to Governor Nathan Deal. The Judicial Qualifications Commission had conducted an investigation of Judge Pitman in conjunction with her adjudication of traffic tickets. Judge Pitman told the Macon Telegraph she was in the process of rescinding her decision to retire in December.
However the Director of the Judicial Qualifications Commission Ronnie Joe Lane said the commission has received no notification from Pitman indicating she intends to rescind her decision to retire. On September 2nd Pitman sent a letter to Governor Deal notifying him that she intended to retire in December after she fulfilled duties as Monroe County’s election superintendent for the General Election in November and any runoffs that may be associated with the November Election.
Her letter to Governor Deal made no reference to the Judicial Qualifications Commission inquiry.
Governor Deal accepted Pitman’s resignation on September 4 th. The Governor’s spokeswoman told the Daily Reporter in Atlanta on Friday Morning that neither the Governor nor his staff has received any communications from Pitman concerning a desire to rescind her retirement notice.
Pitman told the Macon Telegraph that no formal complaint had been filed with the JQC. Instead she explained to the Telegraph that County Auditors lagged behind in reporting offenders cases. She blamed the Monroe County Sheriffs Office, explaining that the figures were not available because of computer problems at the Sheriffs Office.
Director Lane of the Judicial Qualifications Commission disputed Pitman’s statement that there was no complaint filed at the JQC stating, “I can say there was a complaint.” He declined to identify the complainant. The Commission filed an eight line report to the State Supreme Court stating that the JQC inquiry concerned “allegations of irregularities in the processing of uniform Traffic Citations” by the Probate Court.
Director Lane also confirmed hat until Pitman retired, she was to continue to perform her probate duties, with the exception of handling criminal cases.
Lane also did not comment as to why the JQC did not require an agreement from Pitman that would bar her form judicial office for life. He said that “We will address, that issue at the appropriate time, and there is not a investigation at this time. That decision also will be for another day.
WKEU would like to thanks the Daily Report and Macon Telegraph for their assistance in this news story.