Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Governor Perdue Announces Judicial Appointment

Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Adel attorney Howard McClaine to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Brooks Blitch of the Superior Court of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit. The Alapaha Circuit includes the counties of Atkinson, Berrien, Clinch, Cook and Lanier.

“The residents of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit have suffered, knowingly and unknowingly, through what appears to have been gross abuses of judicial power. I am troubled by the numerous federal indictments and other allegations coming from the Circuit, and I am further concerned that it took a Judicial Qualification Commission investigation and federal law enforcement efforts to out the alleged wrongdoing,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Judges wield awesome power. Consequently, it is understandable that some may fear reprisal and retaliation for standing up to members of the bench. Times like these, however, highlight the duty of members of the bar and, perhaps more appropriately the judiciary, to demand that their peers on either side of the bench never betray the public’s trust. In choosing Howard McClaine, it was very important to me that he publicly planned to offer himself as a candidate against the incumbent judge in November. I believe this appointment is a step in the right direction for the Circuit; Mr. McClaine has the trust of the community and the integrity to institute the necessary, culture-changing reforms. I am proud to appoint him as Superior Court Judge, and I trust that he will exercise the judicial integrity the community deserves.”

A brief biography is provided below:

Howard E. McClaine, 63, Adel – McClaine serves as the attorney for the Cook County Board of Education, City of Adel and the Cook County Economic Development Commission. McClaine also serves as Municipal Court Judge for the cities of Alapaha, Ray City, Enigma, and Sycamore. He served on the Valdosta Technical College Board of Directors and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Cook County Educational Foundation. McClaine earned an associate of science degree form Middle Georgia College and a bachelor degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He attended Woodrow Wilson College of Law where he received a juris doctorate. He and his wife Carolyn have three children.

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