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Ga. Magistrate Is Ousted for Smoking Pot, Pulling Gun, Disparaging Boss, Kicking in Doors

Posted Sep 6, 2011 11:22 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A pot-smoking, boss-bashing Georgia magistrate judge won’t be presiding over any more cases as a result of a ruling today by the state supreme court.

Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters of Catoosa County will not be allowed to return to the bench as a result of varied misbehavior ranging from illegal drug use to improper public comments, report the Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In one incident, Peters was accused of pointing a gun at himself in 2009 and telling another judge, “I am not scared. Are you?”

The opinion (PDF) outlined other findings by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which determined that Peters:

• Called his boss “spineless” on a local cable TV show and identified a confidential informant on the same program.

• Kicked in two interior doors at the home of his sister-in-law’s estranged husband in an effort to access the bedrooms.

• Smoked marijuana at least once a week from March to May of 2010.

Peters, who is not a lawyer, had argued the problems happened during a rough patch in his life when he was battling prescription drug abuse and dealing with his father’s suicide. He also maintained he had been punished enough by being placed on administrative leave since June 2010. The court disagreed.

“Judge Peters has failed to explain exactly how being paid his full salary while staying at home somehow constitutes appropriate discipline,” the opinion says.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Judge Tells Ethics Panel That Alleged Gun Episode, Pot Use and More Shouldn’t Keep Him Off the Bench"

ABAJournal.com: "Put on Leave, Magistrate Judge Is Reportedly Arrested After Courthouse Standoff"

ABAJournal.com: "Judge Accused of Courthouse Gun Display, Home Invasion in Far-Reaching Ethics Complaint"

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