Judge’s Former Lucrative Career as Court-Appointed Lawyer Spurs Audit
Posted Feb 24, 2011 6:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A new judge in Gwinnett County outside of Atlanta is giving up a lucrative career as a court-appointed indigent defense lawyer.
Judge Rodney Harris submitted more than $1 million in bills for work as a court-appointed lawyer between 2005 and 2010, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. In 2008, one of his busier years, he sought $240,000 for work representing indigent defendants mostly accused of misdemeanors. To earn that much money, Harris would have had to average 92 hours a week, the newspaper says.
The high legal bills have prompted an audit by the county. Harris became a new judge in January for the Recorder’s Court, which handles traffic citations and code violations.