Legal Ethics

Ex-Bar Prez to Probe for Case Problems from Chief Judge's Affair with Asst. Public Defender


The chief judge in Fayette County, Ga., abruptly resigned earlier this year when it came out that he was having an affair with an assistant public defender working in his courtroom.

But that wasn’t the end of it. The assistant PD resigned, too, and now the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council has hired a former state bar president to determine whether the relationship between then-Chief Judge Paschal English and Kim Cornwell compromised any criminal cases, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The outcome of former bar president Bryan Cavan’s probe could affect as many as 450 criminal cases. Meanwhile, District Attorney Scott Ballard says his chief investigator found no wrongdoing concerning the criminal cases at issue.

It isn’t clear how long the affair between the judge and the assistant PD had been going on. However, a sheriff’s deputy reportedly discovered the two having sex in a parked car in late 2008.

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