On several occasions, Governor Kemp has negatively commented about crime in Atlanta: On June 19, 2021, he tweeted: “According to the [M]ayor, rising crime in our capital city is everyone’s fault but hers. Getting Georgians back to work, back to school, and back to normal didn’t lead to more crime. The left’s anti-police, soft-on-crime agenda is to blame.” On June 21, 2021, Governor Kemp stated to the press that the Mayor of Atlanta was “passing the buck” and blaming COVID as to why crime had escalated in Atlanta in recent months. And, on July 19 2021, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that Governor Kemp plans to call a special legislative session to convene and focus on tackling crime in Atlanta.
Yet, on July 20, 2021, just two days after the AJC article, Governor Kemp appointed Chuck Eaton, a Public Service Commissioner and a White Male who has apparently never practiced law as a litigator, to the Fulton County Superior Court which is one of the busiest trial courts and a court that has one of the heaviest criminal caseloads in the State of Georgia. According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, excluding domestic cases, almost half of all new court case filings in Fulton Superior Court are criminal cases involving felony charges as either a new case or revocation of a sentence on a previously adjudicated case. According to the Fulton County Manager Dick Anderson, Fulton County Superior Court has a backlog of at least 34,000 cases and more than 1,000 individuals are sitting in the Fulton County jail unindicted. It will take running two (2) grand juries simultaneously, twenty (20) additional courtrooms as well as possible night and weekend court over an almost three (3) year period to reduce the case backlog. (June 30, 2021 Fulton County Board of Commissioners Meeting). How then can the Governor justify appointing an untutored neophyte to that Court under those circumstances over another lawyer, with extensive criminal and judicial experience of over twenty years. How can that be explained?