Hart Co. Probate Judge Reprimanded

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

The Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission has reprimanded Hart County Probate Judge Bob Smith.

In a ruling issued late last week, the Commission said it had received complaints from citizens in Hart County regarding Smith’s involvement in his son’s campaign for the Magistrate Judge seat in March.

Joey Smith was one of seven candidates who ran for the office of Hart County Magistrate Judge to replace the late Tony Wellborn who died suddenly last October.

Thomas Jordan won the seat in a run-off election in April.

In its announcement dated May 21st, the Commission said it held a personal conference with Judge Smith and his attorney to discuss the concerns it had about the allegations in the complaints.

Judicial Qualifications Commission Director Jeffrey Davis said that Judge Smith admitted to improper campaigning activities during that conference.

According to Davis, the commission proposed that the disposition consist of a private reprimand with the fact, but not the content of the reprimand being made public by the filing of this report with the Supreme Court of Georgia.

That means exactly what the reprimand consisted of will not be made public and because Judge Smith admitted his inappropriate behavior, there will be no hearing.