Georgia Supremes stop more punishment for former Judge Crawford

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Former Fayette Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford. File photo.
Former Fayette Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford. File photo.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Nov. 16 dismissed a disciplinary case against former Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Robert “Mack” Crawford, who resigned in February after his guilty plea to theft by taking.

The Supreme Court dismissed a disciplinary case against Crawford, citing the state Judicial Qualifying Commission’s (JQC) decision not to seek to permanently ban him from judicial office, according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

Crawford pleaded guilty through an Alford plea to the charge of theft by taking in a 2018 Pike County legal case against him. The plea agreement included Crawford’s retirement and submitting his resignation to Gov. Brian Kemp by Feb. 7.

A prior suspension notice signed by the JQC Presiding Officer Robert C. I. McBurney noted that a Pike County grand jury on Oct. 31, 2018 returned a true bill of indictment charging Crawford with two felonies — theft by taking and violation of oath by a public officer, and relating to a July ruling from JQC where Crawford was charged with “egregious” judicial misconduct relating to the theft of $15,675 from the registry of the Pike County Superior Court.

The Supreme Court in its opinion said, “Critical to our analysis of the evidence, though, is the fact that Crawford has since resigned, thereby voluntarily removing himself from office, which was the very sanction sought in the formal complaint,” according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

Crawford, whose term expires in December, agreed to retire and promised not to run for re-election or apply for, run or serve as a judge in any court during his 12-month probationary period, R. Robin McDonald for law.com previously reported.

Crawford’s plea will not be made part of the court record at this time and, once his probationary period has ended, will be sealed along with the charges, McDonald reported.