On Monday, June 17, 2024, Law.com reported that the ethics hearing for Middle Georgia Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Robert S. Reeves was postponed amid resolution talks with the Judicial Qualifications Commission of Georgia.

Reeves was scheduled to appear before a JQC Hearing Panel to face 58 counts of alleged judicial misconduct. The hearing was expected to be livestreamed from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. However, the livestream did not begin as scheduled. According to JQC Hearing Panel Presiding Officer Robert McBurney, proceedings had been stalled as both parties were aiming to reach an agreement to resolve the case.

The JQC had accused Reeves of various ethics violations throughout his time serving as chief judge in the Middle Judicial Circuit courts of Candler, Emanuel, Jefferson, Toombs, and Washington counties. Specifically, the JQC alleged that Reeves had called criminal defendants and court spectators derogatory names, sexually harassed colleagues, improperly requested favors from other judges, and used his position to benefit private interests.

If no resolution was reached, Reeves was slated to stand trial over the course of four days to defend himself against the 58 counts. However, with resolution talks underway, both the JQC and Reeves’ attorneys felt it was best to postpone the hearing. Reeves is represented by lawyers S. Lester Tate III and W. Matthew Wilson. His lawyers confirmed negotiations were ongoing but did not provide details on the potential agreement.

This comes after Reeves had denied all allegations in a response filed in January 2023. While acknowledging some conversations may have been inappropriate, he maintained his comments were made in jest or claimed not to recall making the statements. Reeves had also tried unsuccessfully to get many of the charges dismissed last year, arguing the JQC failed to demonstrate how his conduct met the standards for discipline.

As talks to resolve the case continue, it remains unclear whether an agreement can be reached to avoid going through with the misconduct trial. But for now, Judge Reeves’ ethics hearing before the JQC panel has been postponed as resolution discussions play out.



Source: Law.com