After more than 10 years of service on the Fulton County Drug Court, Superior Court Judge Doris Downs has stepped aside and will be replaced by Judge Kelly Lee.
Downs has been one of the most vocal advocates for the for the county’s “accountability courts” meant to provide treatment alternatives to defendants whose arrests are linked to drug or alcohol addiction, or to mental health issues. She joined the Drug Court in 2002 and will now move into the court’s Family Division, according to a release from the court.
Downs will continue to serve on the county’s Behavioral Health Court, it said.
Lee, who was elected to the bench in 2010, brings a personal insight to her role on the Drug Court: During her campaign, opponents made an issue of two DUI arrests on Lee’s record, one in 1990 and another in 2002.
“Having stopped drinking alcohol myself over eight years ago through participating in a 12-step program, I appreciate the commitment required of a person facing similar issues as well as the benefits in making the necessary changes,” said Lee in a statement accompanying the release. “I am excited to begin service with the Drug Court and am thankful for the opportunity.”
Lee joins Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane in presiding over the Drug Court.