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Arrested Douglas County Judge removed from office over ethics charges, new judge immediately sworn in


Former Douglas County Probate Judge Christina Peterson has faced significant turmoil this year. Arrested recently for allegedly hitting a police officer outside a nightclub in Buckhead, she was removed from her position as judge last week following a recommendation by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC). The JQC brought 30 ethics charges against her and held a hearing earlier this year which led to a recommendation for her removal due to “systemic incompetence.”

On Tuesday, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the JQC’s recommendation. The court criticized Peterson’s conduct, stating it “portrays to the public an image of a judge who believes she is above the law.” They highlighted her multiple violations of judicial conduct rules, some showing a blatant disregard for the law, and concluded that removal was the appropriate sanction.

This decision came just days after Peterson’s arrest at the Red Martini Restaurant and Lounge, where she was charged with battery and felony obstruction. Despite her legal troubles, Peterson addressed the court’s decision on Instagram, alleging that the JQC was among her “political enemies” and that her arrest was a setup.

Peterson had a short tenure on the bench, elected in an uncontested November 2020 election. She lost her bid for another term in the May Democratic primary to Douglasville attorney Valerie Vie, who does not have a Republican challenger in the November general election. Douglas County Chief Superior Court Judge William H. ‘Beau’ McClain has appointed Vie to succeed Peterson and complete the rest of her term. Vie was sworn in on Friday and now serves as the new Probate Judge for Douglas County.

The JQC’s charges against Peterson included inappropriate social media posts, wrongful imprisonment and fines, unauthorized courthouse access, abuse towards a fellow judge and county officials, obstruction of public records access, and improper contact with a litigant.


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